FINAL VERSION: all updates are in blue.
The basics
The final exam will consist of short-answer questions, and it will be open-note. The exam will be posted for 24 hours on December 10, 2021 (12:01am to 11:59pm). Please double-check this date in the schedule of classes. Once you begin the exam, you will have exactly three hours to complete it. The exam grade will be curved, so it is in your interest not to tell other students the exam questions once you finish.
How many questions will be on the test, and how much time will we be given?
The exam will have 8 questions total. Two questions will be drawn from assignments for the week (see syllabus for each week). The rest will be chosen from the list below. You will have no choice, mostly because that is really hard to set up in canvas exam. You cannot stop and restart your final exam. Once you start, the timer starts, too; be ready to go once you click on the link on canvas.
I have special accommodations. Where will I find my exam?
Make sure to contact me at least one day before the exam day to make arrangements.
Is the exam open book?
The exam is open book but be careful of plagiarism and of academic integrity issues. You cannot directly quote any source without citing it. You cannot have the exact same answers to questions as other people in the class. If you study together, be extra mindful of this.
What will the questions look like?
They will look similar to the review questions with the exception of assignment (readings/films) questions, which you will not get ahead of time. For the latter, I might ask you the main argument of a reading, ask you to compare two readings, or some other question that tests how well you digested the reading. Don’t tell yourself you’ll just skim the reading quickly on the day of the exam. Trust me, you won’t have enough time!
How long should answers be?
Answers should accomplish two goals. First, they should answer the question that you’ve been asked. Second, they should show your mastery over the details related to your question. Realistically, this means each answer will probably be about one really full paragraph – maybe five or six sentences? Again, this is not a rule, just an approximation.
Fake sample question: In your opinion, what is the most important law in Chinese American history and why? In my opinion, the most important law is the 1882 Act that restricted the immigration of Chinese people to the US. It is the most important because…[details that show you really understand the impact of this act.]
You will be given one point automatically for actually answering the question you were asked, regardless of whether or not we agree with your opinion. We are NOT grading you on your opinion; we are simply grading you on whether or not you answered the question. Then, the second more important part is where you show you understand the actual law and the history and impact of that law.
How should I study?
Make sure to review all readings and assignments. Think about the main argument, but also think about what struck you in particular about that reading/website. Review all the questions on the review sheet.
Migration from the Philippines has several critical stages. Talk about the arrival of the Luzon Indios, the Manilamen, or the galleon trade and explain why it’s complicated to say either of these is the first arrival of Asians to the US.
How does empire trigger migration? Explain for China/Japan/Korea/Philippines/Vietnam/India.
Explain how the coolie labor system is both similar to and different from the Atlantic slave trade. Write specific similarities and differences. Be as detailed as you can.
What makes the 1875 and 1882 acts regulating Asian immigration so important and unprecedented in American history?
How do the Siamese twins and Ah Fong Moy fit into larger narratives about racial hierarchy? Think in particular about relationships with African/African American/Black counterparts.
True or false? Most mid-19th c. race riots occurred because there were large gaps in income or wages. Explain specifically with regard to labor activism in the nineteenth century.
Who has access to jus soli? Explain the importance of the Wong Kim Ark case.
How do Alien Land Laws affect migrant behavior?
Know the history of naturalization rights in federal law.
Why is the Fourteenth Amendment such a critical one for understanding Asian American citizenship rights?
What do the racial prerequisite cases tell us about the nature of constitutional and case law?
Do Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders share the same economic and political interests in Hawaiian history? Be able to explain land loss, military takeover, and overthrow of the monarchy with details like the Bayonet Constitution and the Great Mahele in your answer.
How does Japanese empire drive Korean diaspora? Is it a unique process from the diasporas created by European empires?
Did prohibitive immigration acts mean Asian migration stopped? Show you understand border crossings in your answer.
How does internment politicize at least some Asian Americans?
Would you say there is a clear “Asian American” identity during World War II? Explain how international relations and diplomacy plays into identity specifically for (Chinese/Filipino/Japanese) people in the US.
US v. Thind is one of the most important court cases for understanding racial construction. Explain when and why this case had such a powerful impact on South Asian migration in particular.
Explain how the different branches of the federal government worked together to make internment possible.
What were the causes and pitfalls of international adoption? Be able to talk about the film, “First Person Plural” and Laura Briggs in your answer.
Compare the Vietnamese struggle for independence with the struggle in the Philippines. How are they similar, different?
Why, how, and when do Cambodia and Laos become part of the war between the US and Vietnam?
True or false? “Refugees are all the same; they are all poor people fleeing desperate circumstances.” Be able to use at least two specific facts from class or readings to back up your claim.
Why did Grace Lee Boggs identify/not identify as an Asian American activist?
Explain why 1968 is often seen as the birthplace of a particular form of Asian American politics.
The I-Hotel was torn down, so why is this still an important moment in Asian American history?
What is the model minority myth, when is it created, and with what intentions/results? (Be able to talk about Moynihan and Nguyen’s Time article in your answer.)
How does Asian America dramatically transform from pre- to post-1965?
How do Angela Davis’ and Yuri Kochiyama’s lives intersect and overlap? Why does Kochiyama become politically active when she does?
Can you explain what Viet Nguyen means when he says nothing ever dies?
Why do Asian Americans live in ghettos first, and ethnic enclaves second? Be able to talk about when these spatial changes are happening and what federal and local actions lead to these settlement patterns.
When and why do Asian Americans have more residential mobility than African American or Latinx counterparts?
Looking at South Asian cultures in the Bay Area, would you describe the results as a “melting pot”? Be able to talk about tensions between different groups in categories like “Indian American” and “South Asian American”.
What are remittances and how do they stitch together transnational communities?
How do transnational cultures change the way we understand what Asian America is?