American Studies Alums – In their Own Words (Anna Yuwen)




"Only pursue this major if you have opinions and beliefs, and wish to voice."




Anna Yuwen
Major(s): American studies and Germanic studies
Graduation Date: May 2013
Capstone Project: “How to be a Race Traitor: The Model Minority Complex”


Anna’s initial attraction to the American Studies program came from the freedom she noticed within the structure of the curriculum and the lack of what she called “weed-out” courses, which serve to discourage students from continuing in a particular major. As an American Studies major, Anna didn’t encounter any so-called “weed-out” courses and cultivated an understanding of critical race theory and ethnicity studies in order to produce her Capstone project, “How to be a Race Traitor: The Model Minority Complex.” Recently, she has taken an interest in archival research and diaspora studies. She hopes to research these topics in depth because, according to her, they are “two areas that I would like to better understand and utilize.” Outside of the department, Anna worked as a teaching assistant for a biological anthropology course. During her time as a teaching assistant, she discovered that her “repertoire of methods and theories would prove useful outside of the American Studies framework.” After graduation, Anna applied to graduate schools in Europe. During the application process, she found, “Working with different schools of thought has pushed me to explore opportunities beyond my own limited scope. So in the process of searching for graduate schools and potential careers, I was more inclined to look for areas that provide an approach that is different from my own, and hoped for a symbiotic experience.” Anna graduated from the University in Spring 2013 and is currently attending graduate school in Germany.