Pathfinder Repository


Asian American Studies

This Pathfinder is no longer being actively maintained by ipl.


Asian American Studies is a multi-disciplinary field of study that examines the experience of Asians in America. Formally instituted at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State in 1969, Asian American Studies programs now can be found at major colleges and universities everywhere. Though Asian American Studies, also known as Asian Pacific American (APA) Studies, is an academic discipline, historically it has also embraced and supported creative endeavors and community activism. The following guide serves as an introduction to some of the many resources available to anyone interested in learning more about Asian American Studies.

Print Resources | Internet Resources| Associations and Programs

Print Resources

Call Numbers and Subject Headings

The following call numbers and subject headings are helpful for searching library collections for print materials on Asian American Studies. Generally speaking, academic libraries use the Library of Congress classification system while public libraries tend to use the Dewey Decimal system.

The Library of Congress uses “Asian American” as an adjective in subject headings. For example, “Asian American History” or “Asian American Families.” Some other examples of subject headings include: Amerasians; American Literature—Asian American Authors; Asian Americans—Ethnic Identity; Asian Americans—Politics and government. Materials on specific ethnic groups may also be found under their own subject headings, for example, “Chinese American History” or “Filipino American Literature.”

Dewey Decimal call numbers for Asian American topics begin with 305.85

Recommended Books and Journals

Amerasia Journal
A joint quarterly publication of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the Yale Asian American Students Association, Amerasia prints items of interest to Asian American Studies from across the disciplines. The journal also compiles a comprehensive yearly bibliography of published Asian American Studies articles and essays.

The Asian American Movement by William Wei (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993)
A historical examination of the Asian American Movement of the late 1960s and its influence on Asian American culture, education, and identity.

Asian American Studies : A Reader by Jean Yu-Wen Shen Wu and Min Song, Eds. (Rutgers University Press, 2000.)
This anthology is designed as an introduction to Asian American Studies, analyzing Asian American culture, history, politics, and society as experienced by Americans of South Asian, East Asian, Southeast Asian, and Filipino ancestry.

Asian Americans: An Interpretive History by Sucheng Chan (Boston: Twayne, 1991.)
An authoritative yet accessible history of Asian immigrants to the United States from the mid-19th century to the present.

Strangers From A Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans by Ronald Takaki (Boston: Little, Brown, 1998.)
Perhaps the most popular text assigned in Asian American Studies courses, Takaki’s book is a blend of narrative, personal vignettes, oral recountings, and documentary evidence detailing the history of Asian immigrants and their subsequent lives in America.

Internet Resources


Asian American Studies Resource Guide
Part of the University of Southern California Ethnic Studies website, this page provides information and links to bibliographies, research guides, periodicals, community landmarks, audio and video recordings, and various electronic resources on Asian American Studies.

Beginning Library Research on Asian American Studies
This research guide by Stanford University Libary includes search advice, bibliographies, and electronic links. Also a good source on how to use more general indexes and bibliographies to find useful Asian American information such as published dissertations and current statistics.

East of California
An Asian American Studies network of information and support, East of California is a caucus within AAAS (see below) that advocates for individuals and programs engaging in region-specific research and publications. The website includes conference and meeting information, as well as current news and events.

A. Magazine
Popular magazine of news, reviews, interviews and articles pertaining to Asian America. Also available in print.

Bamboo Ridge
Bamboo Ridge publishes their twice yearly journal of Hawai’i literature and arts in print, but also makes available selections from it on their website. While featuring literature and essays of the Hawai’i islands, Bamboo Ridge is nonetheless broad in scope and embraces a variety of work from writers across the nation; it remains an important influence on contemporary Asian American Studies. The website also includes news articles, a publications catalog, and a calendar of events.


You can also look for additional information on the internet at the following indexed websites:


social science/ethnic studies/asian american studies
Regional/Countries/United States/Society and Culture/Cultures and Groups/Cultures/American United States/Asian American/

Usenet Groups



The Association for Asian American Studies has a listserv for discussing Asian American topics and news called AAASCommunity. Subscription information is available at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~jshiao/aaas/handbook.html

Associations and Programs

Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS)
National Headquarters
Cornell University
420 Rockefeller Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853-2501

The AAAS website provides membership, conference and contact information.

AAAS also publishes a directory of Asian American Studies programs, as well as listings of colleges and universities that offer courses on Asian American issues and topics:
The Directory of Asian American Studies Programs

This pathfinder created by Cristine Paschild