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Currently 272 million international migrants live in a country different from where they were born, an increase of 78% since 1990. What are the social, economic, and political consequences of unprecedented global mobility in both destination countries and countries of origin? This class investigates one of the most polarizing and relevant issues of our time: the politics of migration. Throughout the semester we interrogate four themes central to migration politics: rights, representation, access, and agency. The course is organized with a focus on status: which “categories” of people (i.e. citizens, migrants, refugees) have differential access to rights, services, and representation and why. Drawing on political speeches, documentary films, humanitarian campaigns, and a variety of academic texts, we critically analyze how those categories are constructed, as well as the political work they do in making claims, justifying policies, and shaping public opinion. The class situates contemporary US migration policies within a global context and over time, placing the US case in conversation with considerations of migration politics and policies in countries around the world. As an experiential education course, we will (virtually) attend a US naturalization ceremony as well as interview officials from organizations working with migrants and refugees here and abroad.
Format: seminar; As a hybrid course, the class will feature both in-person and online components. I will post 1-2 short lectures on GLOW to accompany assigned readings/media for the week. Our scheduled course time will be a mix of discussions, interactive learning exercises, and presentations. At least one class per week will be held in-person; whether the other class will be online or in-person will depend on a number of factors, including the distribution of students taking the course on campus or remotely.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Active class participation, 3 short papers (3 pages each), policy project (8-10 pages), and presentation.
Prior course work in political science or global studies.
Political Science majors, Global Studies Concentrators.
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course examines the politics of migration with a focus on the power inherent within particular categorizations of people in relation to the state (i.e. citizens, migrants, aliens, refugees). We compare policies shaping the lives of migrants around the world, with particular considerations of how race, gender, age, and religion shape migration experiences (and migration policy). We focus on rights, access, and migrant agency throughout the course.
GBST Borders, Exiles + Diaspora Studies Electives