HIST 402
Displacement: Global Histories of Refugees and Forced Migration Fall 2024
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ARAB 414 / GBST 414

Class Details

The Middle Eastern refugee has become a central figure in debates on migration, asylum, and the right to belong in Europe, Asia, and North America. Often stereotyped as threatening, alien, and rootless, these migrants are generally depicted as lacking histories and by extension not worthy of consideration or empathy. This course invites students to understand some of the most tragic humanitarian crises of our time and the massive involuntary displacements provoked by war, violence, and/or climate change. Taking a global perspective, this seminar examines the history of displacement, refugees, migration, diaspora in a focusing on the nineteenth century through the present. With special attention to the historical experience of various peoples of the Middle East, the course will start with theoretical approaches to the study of migration and then delve into case studies, A range of different moments of displacement will be analyzed such as the experiences of Armenians, Jews, Palestinians, Syrian, Iraqis, and Kurds. By examining the human geography and politics of forced displacement and migration, this course will address a number of important academic and political questions: what makes a history written by, about, and for displaced people powerful? How can writing from the perspectives of refugees challenge core debates about identity, the nation and borders? How does the focus on displacement help in understanding the nature of war and conflict?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1502
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Final 25 page research paper, several drafts of paper, class presentations and in class writing exercises.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: History and Arabic Studies majors and Global Studies concentrators.
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARAB 414 Division II GBST 414 Division II HIST 402 Division II
WS Notes: This research seminar will involve the writing of a final 25 page paper. Prior to that stage, each process of writing will involve moments of feeback and sharing. Students will submit a proposal early on in the semester and then write an outline. These will receive peer and instructor feedback. They will then submit a five page draft in October, a 10 page draft in November, before the final submission in December. In this way, they will have opportunities to rework and improve their writing.
DPE Notes: This course takes a comparative approach by exploring the predicament of some of the most vulnerable people in the world, i.e, displaced peoples and refugees. The course will consider their legal status and their experience of leaving their homes due to wars or natural disaster. The area of study is the Middle East and we will examine the historical experience of a number of different people in the region including Kurds, Palestinians, Sephardi Jews, and Syrians.
Attributes: HIST Group E Electives - Middle East

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