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Instructor Class Description

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Tikka O. Sears
SISSE 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Southeast Asian Studies

Content varies.

Class description

Rewriting Difficult Dialogues: Community Collaborations, Oral Histories, Performing Stories

This course provides a space for students to make connections between the oral histories and interviews conducted by students involved with the 2006-2008 “UW Difficult Dialogues: Engaging Southeast Asian American Pluralism” project and the community-based research they conduct. To engage with this material, students will learn about and apply a variety of methodological tools, including interpretive, ethnographic, visual, and theatrical approaches. Visits to community sites and mediated dialogues about Asian American life are crucial components of this course. Reflecting on archival material and their own oral history research and community engagement activities, students will collectively develop a script in Fall quarter 2008, to be produced, designed, rehearsed, and performed as part of a follow-up SISSE 490 course in Winter quarter 2009.

Student learning goals

1. To gain an understanding of performance, ethnographic, and visual methods as interrelated tools for articulating narratives, particularly in contexts of diverse Southeast Asian American communities and identities.

2. To apply these methods through a critical lens, including considerations of ethics, representation of subjects, interpretations of stories, and contradictions in the material.

3. To dialogue about the diversity of Southeast Asian American experiences.

4. To cultivate working relationships with local Southeast Asian American community sites, community members, actors/actresses and artists.

5. To explore how this course material connects to other areas of study, such as Theater, Social Work, History, and Human Rights.

6. To make connections between course material and individual areas of personal and intellectual interest.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Tikka O. Sears
Date: 07/22/2008