A more than 15-year push came to an end last year when Duke launched its Asian American Studies program. It is the only one of its kind in the American South, according to its director, Nayoung Aimee Kwan.
Duke is one of the latest colleges to establish an Asian American studies program among a push across U.S. campuses for the field of study, NBC News reports. According to the College Board, the not-for-profit group that administers the SAT, 25 U.S. colleges and universities offer majors in Asian American studies. The number does not include institutions like Duke that have a program but don't offer a degree.
Asian American studies dates back to the five-month strike in 1968 led by Third World Liberation Front, a coalition of student groups who demanded the creation of programs that focused on the histories of people of color. The term Asian American was created that same year, according to activists and academics.
The first Asian American studies curricula were established at the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco State University and the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1969. But only a handful of post-secondary institutions offer degrees in the field today.