Class Notes: "Asian American Culture and Communication" with Professor Ho

I am happy to introduce a new category for the blog: “Class Notes.”  Class Notes will be a way to highlight courses in our department by offering candid descriptions of the courses (better than the course catalogue!) and by providing examples of the work that students do in our courses.  One of the things that I am proud about in our department is the variety of courses we offer our students.  I think Class Notes will be informative for our current and future students, so you can learn more about courses before you take them, and will also be a way for alums to reminisce about the courses they took while here (respond back with comments if you took a course featured in Class Notes!), and another way for friends of the department to learn about what we do in our courses here at USF.  So, without further ado, our first “Class Notes.”

First up is Professor Ho’s COMS 315: Asian American Culture and Communication, a new upper-division course in our department.  Let’s hear about this course from Professor Ho:

Professor Ho, happy and smiling because of her course "Asian American Culture and Communication"

“Not just for Asian Americans!  This class examines communication ranging from Hawaiian Pidgin to Margaret Cho’s forms of Mock Asian to Asian Americans adopting ‘Black’ ways of speaking.  Students read about the different Asian American ethnic groups and the role of communication in creating Asian American identities.  Situates you well for saying that you have skills for ‘working in a diverse environment.’  In Fall 2010, students conducted a class-wide focus group interview project learning steps in focus group interview development, recruitment, moderation, and analysis.  Students chose this project as a class in part to learn skills in how to moderate and conduct focus group research (people get jobs doing this!).  Each student studied their own research questions like ‘what stereotypes exist about Asians and Asian Americans’ and ‘how do parents influence language choices/code-switching in 2nd generation Asian Americans.'”

See how much more helpful this description is than the catalogue?  Let’s compare.  Here is the catalogue description: “This course explores the communication patterns of Asian Pacific Americans.  The course introduces different theories and methods for studying these cultural practices and how they construct shared and contested individual and collective identities.”   Hmm…

So, to recap.  “Asian American Culture and Communication” is not just for Asian Americans and the catalogue description does not do it justice.  This course fulfills upper-division Communication Studies major credit, the University core Cultural Diversity requirement, and the Asian American Studies minor elective requirement.  Did you take this course with Professor Ho this past fall semester?  If so, comment back and share more information! 

Do you have a course that you would like more information about?  Let me know at edoohan@usfca.edu and I will feature it in an upcoming Class Notes post.



  1. I hope to teach this class again in Spring 2012 in case you’re interested!

  2. One of the best things about Professor Ho’s classes are the lively and open discussions. The projects are hard, but you learn a lot!

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