Fall 2023 - GA 301 D100

Asia-Canada Identities: Experiences and Perspectives (3)

Cultural Activism

Class Number: 3568

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Thu, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



This course will explore the experience of Asian immigrants and their children, focusing in particular on social and cultural aspects. This course may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Students with credit for ASC 301 may not take this course for further credit.


This course focuses on Asian Canadian cultural activism. It will explore how Asian Canadians represent their histories, experiences and identities through various forms of cultural practices and artistic forms, in particular through literature, film, visual arts and social media.

After introducing some concepts, themes and perspectives in discussing Asian Canadian culture, we will examine Asian Canadian cultural activism through a variety of sources: memoir and fiction, documentary and film, theatre and art exhibitions, as well as social media sites. The learning activities include narrative analysis, class discussions, guest lecture, a field trip, and a group project. Among the themes/ issues considered are the following:

  • What kind of identities and experiences have Asian Canadian artists expressed?
  • How are these experiences and identities related with personal, communal and national formation?
  • How have the representations of Asian Canadian changed/developed, and what role do Asian Canadian artists play ?
  • What are the innovative and creative perspectives Asian Canadian artists have explored? What are the historical, social and political issues they have discussed?

Active participation in seminars, field trip and group presentation, and developing a major creative project or research paper are required for successful completion of the course.


  • Attendance and Participation 20%
  • Canvas Discussion (3 Posts) 15%
  • Group Presentation 15%
  • Field trip and report 20%
  • Final Paper /Project 30%



*Xiaoping Li, Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism, UBC Press, 2007  (e-book accessible online via SFU library)

Here are just some core texts that we will view/read, more materials will be collected /distributed in class.

Kazim Ali, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water, 2021
Craig Anderi & Mieko Ouchi, Shepherd's Pie and Sushi (1998)
Joy Kogawa, Obasan. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1981.
Mina Shum(dir.), Meditation Park, 2017
Ying Wang (dir.), The World is Bright, 2019


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.