Welcome from the Director, Anna Guevarra  


Welcome to the Global Asian Studies Program (GLAS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago! We are a vibrant community of scholars, teachers, and activists who seek to advance a critical understanding of contemporary issues through the interdisciplinary study of Asia and transnational Asian diasporas.

The Global Asian Studies Program is a brand new program that began in Fall of 2016; it is the product of a merger between the Asian American Studies (ASAM) and Asian Studies (ASST) Programs at UIC. While the two programs have disparate histories on campus and beyond, the intellectual and curricular vision of GLAS is to create an innovative program that will offer students cutting edge scholarship and teaching through engaged work in the fields of area and ethnic studies.

The Global Asian Studies Program emphasizes the study of Asian and Asian American histories, culture, and polities, while interrogating the frames within which analyses have traditionally been located. Asian Studies has traditionally fallen under the rubric of area studies, which comes with a range of conceptual and politico-historical problems stemming from its roots in colonial era knowledge projects and Cold War politics, while Asian American Studies, which began under the umbrella of ethnic studies, was dogged by its own nationalist framings, leading the field to defensively confine itself within American national, cultural, and historical borders. Responding to the limits of these projects and a “globalization” discourse that calls for new forms of knowledge production, the Global Asian Studies Program at UIC aims to address the shortcomings in both these paradigms and emphasize Asian diasporas, transnationalism, and globalization.

The Global Asian Studies Program at UIC also reflects a field that has continually expanded and transformed in relation to new immigration patterns and historical shifts in U.S. racial formations, including, most recently, phenomena such as Islamaphobia, new Orientalisms, and anti-Arab/South Asian/Muslim racisms. Thus, the intellectual and curricular vision emphasizes work that is transnational, comparative, or global in scope, interdisciplinary and intersectional in its content, work that productively engages with the diversity of Asian and Asian American experiences, including the histories and social movements that produced these fields of study, even as it encourages a productive interrogation of the very disciplinary/geographic terms of that inquiry.

Our courses – focusing on a range of issues including im/migration, gender and sexuality, multi-ethnic and post-colonial literatures, Arab-Asian and Afro-Asian connections, memory and war, hip-hop studies, food politics, critical community studies, and urban cartographies of Asia and Asian America - reflect transformative pedagogies that offer students opportunities to experience learning that takes place in multiple spaces within and beyond the classroom – whether they are in partnership with community organizations in the Chicagoland area or abroad, in India and Japan. Our faculty include award winning authors, beloved teachers and mentors, and fearless leaders with a firm commitment to social justice work. Our students are also key partners in the program – who commit their time and labor as advisory board members, volunteers, and avid supporters as alumni. 

The Global Asian Studies Program (and Asian American Studies) is a proud recipient and beneficiary of three five-year grants totaling $ 5.6 million dollars (2010- 2015 and 2015-2020) from the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program of the U.S. Department of Education. These grants federally designate UIC as a Minority Serving Institution by supporting the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Asian American, Pacific Islander, and English language learner students. The new grant- AANAPISI Pipeline for Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Success (PASS) will provide a number of curricular and co-curricular initiatives in GLAS including supplemental tutoring and academically integrated mentorship and internship opportunities.  

Welcome to GLAS at UIC! We hope that you return to our site frequently to learn more about the Program and the various events we are organizing. 



Our listerv is a place to post news and information that is relevant to the GLAS program and also to the field of Global Asian Studies. It is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about UIC's GLAS Program or Asian and Asian American communities at UIC and in the Chicago area.

To subscribe, please send an e-mail request to GLAS-NEWS@listserv.uic.edu.


GLAS bubble sheet- 4.26.17