The relationship between Asian Americans and the U.S. nation-state has been understood by a number of scholars as reciprocally traumatizing. The incorporation of racially-marked Asian Americans into the U.S. has been historically perceived and figured as an incursion, a wound, a rupture in the homogeneity of a national body that must be managed through legal exclusions and discrimination. Meanwhile, many argue that these historical exclusions have in turn "traumatized" Asian American identity, such that, as Anne Cheng wrote, "in Asian American literature . . . assimilation foregrounds itself as a repetitive trauma." This course will examine the concept of trauma and the cultural work it performs in both Asian American fiction and criticism. As we explore the ways trauma has enabled certain discussions about immigration, assimilation, and historical memory, we will also ask questions about the limits of trauma as a model for understanding these processes and consider what discussions this widely prevalent paradigm might obscure or occlude.