Forum 5


Christine Mok, Assistant Professor of English, University of Rhode Island

Martin Joseph Ponce, Associate Professor of English and Director, Sexuality Studies Program, The Ohio State University

Crystal Parikh, Professor of English and Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

Moderated by: Betsy Huang, Associate Provost and Dean of the College, Klein Distinguished Professor, and Associate Professor of English, Clark University 


The Talking Syllabus Forum considers the critical role of Asian American Studies in intersectional curricula and the challenges of centering both in contemporary institutions of higher education. Faculty of varying ranks from different institutional, regional, and disciplinary backgrounds present “guided tours” of their most effective syllabi or syllabi-in-progress. Talks encompass the process of syllabus building and teaching, from initial conceptualization and text selection to assignment creation and surprises in teaching the course. Participants dive deeply into each other’ courses, exchange teaching materials and pedagogical methods, and explore a variety of course models. In addition to the courses presented by the panelists, discussion will draw from a repository of AAS syllabi collected from Summit participants.



  • Purpose: Why do you teach this course? What motivated its offering?
  • Content: How do you go about selecting or changing the course texts? What are the pleasures and challenges of the process? In what ways do questions of the canon and literary form impact our text selections?
  • Implementation: What worked? What didn’t? What challenges around content and assignment creation persist from year to year? What surprised you? 
  • Implications: How do we ensure that courses like ours retain their critical edge and resist co-optation by neoliberalist marketing or by established networks of power (as cautioned by Roderick Ferguson in The Reorder of Things)? How has the institutionalization of “diversity” in the neoliberal university shaped our and our students’ understanding of the politics of representation, identification, and otherness?