Spring 2024 - GA 101 D100

Introduction to Global Asia (3)

Class Number: 4740

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Fri, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2024
    Fri, 11:59–11:59 p.m.



Introduces students to the interconnected, border-crossing worlds of Asian and Asian diasporic people through discussion of scholarship, films, short stories, essays, oral histories, and visual art. Surveys key topics in the study of globalizing processes, such as migration, trade, imperialism, decolonization, globalization, and environmental change. Students with credit for ASC 101 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


In this course, we will explore different aspects of Asia’s global story through films, essays, visual art, and oral accounts that depict the interconnected, border-crossing worlds of Asian and Asian diasporic people. Over the course of the semester, we will examine different phases in this story, beginning with a unit entitled “Ocean Crossings, Interdependent Worlds” in which we trace Asian people’s encounters with each other and the broader world in the centuries before European intervention, through the movement of goods (such as spices and ceramics), plants, and religions. In the second unit, entitled “Imperial Frameworks: Globalizing Asia Across and Against Borders,” we will track the global movement of Asian people during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including to North America, as shaped by histories of Indigenous presence, the extractive projects of imperial European and North American nation-states, and anti-Asian racism. Here, key texts will include films like Richard Fung’s Dal Puri Diaspora, which follows the travels of the filled flatbread dal puri roti from India to the Caribbean and eventually to Canada. Finally, a third unit entitled “Haunted Connections: Living Globally in Empire’s Wake” will focus on Asian and Asian people’s experiences of globalization in the contemporary moment, through films about the global circulation of Asian care workers and popular culture, the infrastructures needed to support these forms of circulation, and their complicated human and environmental effects. Throughout the course, short writing assignments will enable you to hone your skills of critical thinking, analytical writing, and clear argumentation; and practice thinking with key Global Asia concepts and frameworks; there will also be opportunities to interact with Asian and Asian diasporic artists and scholars, who will introduce us to their work in person or over Zoom. 


  • Introductory statement 5%
  • Participation (with asynchronous options) 10%
  • Micro essay (1 @ 300 words) 15%
  • Short essays (2 @ 1000 words each) 55%
  • Final keywords exam 15%



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


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