Spring 2021 - GA 101 D100

Introduction to Global Asia (3)

Class Number: 5669

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2021
    Tue, 11:59–11:59 p.m.



Introduces developments in Asia from a comparative and transregional perspective, focusing on economic interactions, cultural influences, as well as migrations. Surveys various issues, both historical and contemporary, including those involving diasporic Asian communities. Students with credit for ASC 101 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.



This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to global Asian studies through five units designed to introduce you to different aspects of Asia’s global story. In Unit 1, we will explore some of the specificities of BC’s history as a point of departure for encounters with Asia as well as a site of settlement by people of Asian descent from all over the globe. Next, we will attend to the movement of Asian people within and beyond Asia, both as part of and in response to translocal projects of nation-building, empire, (settler) colonialism, war, and capitalism, with a focus on the experiences of migrant workers, refugees, and other marginalized subjects. In Unit 3, we will revisit these histories by tracking how food travels globally; while in Unit 4, we will take up Hallyu (the new Korean wave) as a way to think about the global circulation of Asian cultural goods. Finally, in Unit 5, we will ask how Asian and Asian diasporic subjects have sought to transform the modern global order, including through cultivating relationships of solidarity, aspiration, or redress with differently situated others. Throughout the course, you will gain practice thinking with and writing about cultural texts, scholarship, and key concepts in the field; there will also be opportunities to interact with visiting Asian and Asian diasporic artists and scholars, who will introduce us to their work over Zoom. 


  • Introductory statement: 5%
  • Engagement and participation (reading notes and in-class comments/questions): 10%
  • Micro essays (2 @ 300 words each): 25%
  • Short essays (2 @ 1000 words each): 45%
  • Open-book keywords exam: 15%


Format and Required Materials

Each week, Dr. Attewell will host a Zoom “lecture,” including short lectures, discussions, and guest interviews, from 12.30 – 2.20 on Tuesdays. For students who cannot attend, lectures will be recorded and made available for download through Canvas. Most weeks, you will also have the option of attending a 50-minute Zoom tutorial, designed to help you develop and practice important course skills. Attendance for all such sessions is recommended but not mandatory; and written/asynchronous as well as oral/synchronous forms of participation encouraged.



All course texts will be uploaded to Canvas, or shown in class.  

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).