Summer 2023 - GA 202 D100

Studies in Asian Cultures (3)

Global Asia in Vancouver

Class Number: 4685

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    15 units.



An introduction to the culture of one or more Asian regions. The emphasis will be on the cultural importance of the themes covered and on their relationship to contemporary societies. This course may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Students with credit for ASC 202 may not take this course for further credit.


This course will explore and learn from the efforts, experiences, and histories of community organizing, social & environmental justice activism, and solidarity-building centering people of Asian descent in Vancouver. In the introductory unit, we will lay the theoretical foundation of the course by examining the interconnecting processes of Asian racialization/anti-Asian racism, settler colonialism, and Indigenous dispossession. Then, we will examine how these historical processes manifest in the lives of people racialized as Asian in the city now known as Vancouver, specifically in the areas of housing, labour, (im)migration/border crossing, food security, and health. For each site of struggle, students will learn about related social movement organization, their history, and their current efforts. This part of the course will consist of guest speakers, walking tours, events participations, documentary films, and essays (op-eds and academic articles). Students will be expected to prepare and conduct interviews, engage in reflective writing, and compose a creative project in relation to place-based strategies, stories, and organizing of a particular group or topic.


  • Participation & Attendance 25%
  • Reflective writing (4) 25%
  • Major Project 35%
  • Project Gallery (Presentation) 15%


Grading and Course Work:

Participation & Attendance                        25%

With the interactive nature of the course, participation & attendance is crucial. It includes coming to class and tutorials and engaging in small or whole group discussion as well as preparing and interviewing guest speakers and other class activities.

Reflective writing (4)                                            25%

~500 words of reflection on a topic covered during the course. With one larger piece of place-based reflection on how and why one has arrived in Vancouver (history of arrival), what they see their relationship with this place is (sense of place), and what does land acknowledgement mean to them (arriving in Indigenous land). This piece of reflection will be examined again at the end of the semester to reflect how their relationship with place may have changed.

1 Statement of Arrival (2 parters,10 %)

3 on a week of students’ choice (15%)

Major Project                                                      35%

A creative project (podcast, mini documentary, collage, academic poster, action campaign, etc.) that explores a topic not covered in the course or an extension of a topic in the course. Choice of being in a group or doing it individually.

            Project Proposal (5%)

            Creative Project (30%)

(includes the project, and a companion including references used)

Project Gallery (Presentation)                                15%

A gallery style of presentation where students will be expected to ask and answer questions about their projects.



  • Iyko Day. (2016). “Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism,” Selected pages in Introduction, p. 16 – 34
  • Selected articles in “Settler Colonial Studies, Asian Diasporic Questions”, Verge: Studies in Global Asia, (2019), 5(1), p. 1 – 45
  • Harsha Walia. (2021). “Border & Rules,” Introduction and Chapter 9
  • Max Haiven & Alex Khasnabish. (2014). “The Importance of Radical Imagination in Dark Times”
  • Nat Lowe. (2019). “Class Struggles in Chinatown: Ethnic Tourism, Planned Gentrification, and Organizing for Tenant Power.” Published in The Mainlander.
  • Jane Shi. (2020). “The Revolution will be Translated.” Published in Briarpatch Magazine

Documentaries & Podcast episodes:

  • “British Columbia: Untold History, Ep 3 Migration + Resilience” (2021). The Knowledge Network
  • “Painted Red” (2017). Directed by Eva Cohen
  • “Come again? The Komagata Maru Story” (2017). The Nameless Collective Podcast


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


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.