ENGL 352
Global Migration: Humanities Perspectives Fall 2021
Division I

Class Details

This course concerns one of the most profound political, social, and cultural issues of our times, the phenomenon of mass migration, the movement of masses of people out of their countries and places of origin and sometimes across continents and oceans. It is a fundamentally contradictory reality: on the one hand, the political, economic, and now even climactic realities of countries and regions across the world objectively produce pressures for the movement of populations; on the other, these very same conditions block the possibility of safe and regularized movement. Migrants and refugees can be routinely denied the most basic rights–to safety, shelter, food and healthcare, let alone access to the law or political representation. The research on this phenomenon has taken place mostly in the social sciences. The purpose of this course is to introduce a different perspective on, and therefore different types of questions about, the phenomenon of global mass migration and the forms of displacement contained within it. It is based in the methods of the literary humanities and will look at some key works from across disciplines and media–literature, anthropology, philosophy, theory, film–to help us understand the history and forms of migrancy in the modern world. We will look at a variety of migrant experience, from “economic” migrant to stateless refugee, and consider how these figures relate to the canonical figure of modern liberal politics, the native-born citizen. We will also look at the institution of the international border and the way it is represented in different cultural genres and experienced by different populations. Our discussions will focus on works by, among others, Conrad, Manto, Arendt, Said, Kanafani, Rushdie, and Sebald.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 1998
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 5-6 Page midterm essay and 10-12 page final essay.
Prerequisites: a 100 level English course or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: English Majors
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses
ENGL Literary Histories C

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