Creative Expression through Asian American Art

Creative Expression through Asian American Art

Creative Expression through Asian American Art

Paper details

Needs a works cited page also



A. The long essay must be:

1. typed, double-spaced

2. 1 inch margins

3. 12 point font

4. roughly 7-9 pages long

B. In-text citations / documentation (which basically provides me with an author & page # in case I want to double-check your source) should be done in MLA format



    A. The final paper is a formal writing assignment. As a result, you are expected to 1) observe rules of grammar, 2) clearly state your thesis (i.e., central argument), and 3) support your thesis with specific, pertinent examples from the course materials. You should strive to explain the rationale—the “why’s” and “how’s”—behind your thinking. [note: Remember, a good thesis (central argument) is a debatable opinion; someone should be able to disagree with your point-of-view. If your thesis is too agreeable, you may have written a statement of fact instead of a thesis. If you are unsure about the differences between these two ideas, you can simply type thesis and “statement of fact” in one Internet search, and you should see a large number of results about how to distinguish between these items at a number of college and university writing lab web pages. Whenever possible, you should try to address any potential views or opinions that run counter to your thesis. You want to show the reader that you have seriously considered alternative views that exist in opposition to your own perspective; this can potentially add greater weight and depth to your own analysis.]



  1. Of the following four themes/motifs listed below, rank them in order from the most to least significant as featured in the Asian American art you have experienced this semester. (You must address all 4 themes in your essay.) Be sure to explain the rationale/criteria behind your ranking—for example, how do you determine what is most significant, and why? Are you focusing on the number of times a particular theme appears in the course materials? Is your criteria for a theme’s “significance” based on how impactful you think a certain motif may be in regards to society as a whole? Or, is there another explanation for the criteria you use to determine the ranking significance of the 4 themes under discussion? You should discuss and analyze various artwork we have surveyed throughout the semester, and show how selected works highlight the motifs under discussion.


    Viewing the future with cautious optimism and hope

    Responding to sexism both inside and outside Asian ethnic communities

    Feeling alienated and helpless in a new, unfamiliar cultural environment

    Constructing an identity that promotes racial and ethnic self-acceptance over Anglo-conformity assimilation

    IV. NOTE:

    A. When citing specific examples of artwork to support your argument / thesis, you should draw on a good cross section of work from the entire semester – for example, cite a few examples from music, some from literature and visual art, others from humor and film. I think citing roughly 8-10 artists or collections of short works (e.g., Angel Island poetry, Japanese American internment art, Khmer Girls in Action poems) would be good for this essay assignment. For example, if a student chose to cover the following list of works (or collection of works) in their paper, I would be fine with something like this (see below):


  • 2-3 key scenes from Pilgrimage (a short film that you will view in coming weeks)

    · 2-3 Khmer Girls in Action poems

    · 2-3 Asian American Movement poetry (as featured in the Russell Leong article)

    · 2-3 paintings/illustrations from Japanese American internment art exhibit

    · 2-3 songs from A Grain of Sand

    · a key anecdote from Mary Uyematsu Kao, “Ma’s Killer Won-Ton Soup Recreating Ethnic Rituals.” (upcoming article about family life and cultural traditions)

    · 2-3 key scenes or elements (an “element” could be something like a brief discussion/summary of Simon’s character development in the novel) from the graphic novel Same Difference

    · 1-2 key elements of a comedian’s comedy routine or interview (featured in an upcoming week 12 YouTube playlist)

    · 2-3 key elements from the article about Japanese Canadian women in taiko

    [note: the numbers above are just rough estimates; if you feel that your argument will be more effective if you analyze 4 key scenes (instead of 3) from Same Difference, that’s fine.]

    B. Remember, your analysis of the artwork is intended to support your central thesis (the essay’s main argument). Therefore, when I say “support your thesis with specific, pertinent examples from the course materials,” I mean that you should support a point you are trying to make by citing specific lines from various Khmer Girls in Action poems, scenes from Pilgrimage and Same Difference, lyrics from various Sudden Rush songs, jokes in a Kristina Wong TV appearance, anecdotes from Kao’s article, and so on. [If you are not sure what I am trying to say here, I suggest you review the Leong and Akindes articles for a quick reference of how their writing is formatted. You will notice that both writers cite specific lines from poems/song lyrics throughout their articles to reinforce a larger point they are trying to make to the reader about Asian American Movement poetry and Sudden Rush’s music, respectively.]