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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kristin Louise Gustafson
BIS 490
Bothell Campus

Senior Seminar

Study of special topics in interdisciplinary arts and sciences. Prerequisite: BIS 300.

Class description

Asian America media—meaning media produced and consumed by Asian Americans—have informed and educated audiences in the Pacific Northwest for more than a century. Mostly these have been newspapers such as the North American Post/Hokubei Hochi or the International Examiner, but occasionally the media histories include broadcast and online media production as well as the tradition of print publication. Some media organizations lasted only a few years, whereas others have influenced cultural and intellectual spheres in the Pacific Northwest for decades. These media outlets can be seen as social institutions that are closely linked to social change and social movements experienced by people in the Pacific Northwest, as well as to broader themes of race, class, gender, and ethnicity. In this senior seminar, students will engage with primary and secondary texts (media, scholarly, popular) to understand the relationship between Asian American media and the historical and cultural context of the Pacific Northwest. This course provides students an opportunity to perform as historians. Students will conduct historical research on a topic of their choice and write a publishable quality paper as part of their senior seminar. Students will also play a collaborative role in contributing to a scholarly web page that will serve audiences interested in the histories of these media and their communities.

Student learning goals

Demonstrated ability to identify and articulate interesting questions and problems related to histories and change of Asian American media as social institutions in the Pacific Northwest

Demonstrated ability to identify, articulate, and conduct research methods for media history

Demonstrated ability to articulate media literacy that integrates an understanding of diverse forms of communication, social change, and identity

Demonstrated ability to engage in a variety of discussant roles, including facilitating a class discussion on a chosen topic that requires responses to student- and instructor-selected readings

Demonstrated ability to reflect deeply on one’s own work in the course and the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences school in its entirety

Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and independently on a scholarly research project, and use a variety of effective communication skills to present this research

General method of instruction

As a seminar, this course will rely heavily on well-prepared students exchanging ideas in small-group and full-class discussions. Students will engage in a variety of discussant roles, including performing as facilitators, note takers, and synthesizers. Students will write a short, one-page essay for each week’s reading. There will likely be opportunities for online discussions.

Recommended preparation

BIS 300 and either BIS Coursework in U.S. history, media, Asian American studies, and Institutions and Social Change would be helpful preparation for this course. Experience with academic research techniques—such as those taught in BIS 300, BIS 312 Approaches to Social Research, BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research, or most MCS core courses—is strongly recommended.

Class assignments and grading

This course requires a substantial amount of reading, research, writing, and revision of written work. Out-of-classroom work includes library and/or archival research. Students will be required to develop a research topic and compile a working bibliography within the first weeks of the quarter. Every student is expected to prepare a 5-page annotated bibliography and complete a 15–page research paper that demonstrates a mastery of college-level skills in research, analysis, and writing. Students will also collaborate on ways to contribute to a scholarly website related to the class topic. In addition, daily readings, class meetings, in-class discussion, and in-class assignments are required. At the end of the quarter, students will present their research in a brief oral presentation on the research topic covered in the paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kristin Louise Gustafson
Date: 02/15/2014