Jonathan Pitcher

In terms of public action, GANAS has survived the pandemic, as have its members, mercifully, and remains a community-driven, cross-cultural association that provides students with volunteer opportunities to engage with the predominantly undocumented Latino migrant worker population. These opportunities are increasingly facilitated by the group itself, in addition to partnerships with organizations such as Head Start, and the Bennington Free Clinic. Recent members have implemented an ESL program, women’s workshops, high-school counseling, and conferences hosted a radio show, gathered oral histories, designed exams for a certificate in interpretation, maintained a web presence and advertising, and continued with social events.

Andrea Galindo

Human mobility has been an inherent human condition throughout history. From earliest human history, women and men have migrated in search of a better life, to populate other places on the planet, or to escape and survive human-made or natural dangers. Today migration is a fact of life for an increasing number of people around the world: there are more than 244 million migrants in the world, and almost half are women. The overwhelming majority of people who move do so inside their own country. However, migration can often involve cross-border movements, from a developing to a developed country, or more commonly within the same region.

Mobility is different for men and women, both in terms of the reasons why they migrate as well as the impact while in transit and upon arrival to the destination and beyond. In this course we will explore the international rules that apply in different mobility scenarios focusing particularly in the effect that it has on women.

Noah Coburn

Too much of how the international media portrays Afghanistan is based on stereotypes and cliches that ignores some of the deep, rich scholarship of the country over recent years. What are the different ways that scholars attempt to make sense of Afghanistan? What can we learn from studying these approaches? What does it teach us about Afghanistan and the world more broadly?

This is a remotely-accessible joint course offered by Bennington College and the American University of Afghanistan. It is composed of a series of visiting lectures, presentations and interviews with scholars and others who focus their work on Afghanistan. Each week we will consider one approach to the country, asking how does discipline (e.g. political science, media studies, anthropology), methodology (e.g. ethnography, archival research, activist-research) and theory shape our understanding of a place. While not focused specifically on the current crisis, we will consider what we can learn from past approaches to the country and what that may mean for Afghanistan’s future.

Özge Savas

How have transnational diaspora communities become new sites for the rethinking core concepts of psychology such as self and identity alongside culture and nation? How do people build self, identity, and community in multiple homes? Who belongs in where? In this course, we will follow a migrant-centered approach in investigating macro (e.g., institutional), meso (e.g., intergroup) and micro-level (e.g., individual) influences on migration, displacement, and belonging. We will build a basic migration/refugee studies lexicon (e.g. who is a refugee, how are refugees different than asylum seekers? What are the driving forces of migration?), while we challenge the idea that all immigrants go through a universal psychological process of acculturation and adaptation. Through different examples of various transnational immigrant communities in the world, we will develop a contextual understanding of self and identity. In order to familiarize you with key questions, theoretical debates, and issues within the field, our readings will range across a body of interdisciplinary and critical scholarship and will include elements from digital media and pop culture.

David Eisenhauer

Political geography is the study of the spatial nature of political power. Political geographers explore both how power struggles shape space and how space shapes power. This includes examining uneven economic development, spatial segregation, urban politics, social movements, geopolitics, and environmental injustice—to name a just a few. In tracing how power is spatialized within places, landscapes, regions, and territories, political geographers utilize a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to core concepts within political geography as well as explore how these concepts are applied to current political issues. Topics examined in the course will include, international migration, the illegal wildlife trade, indigenous struggles for sovereignty, structural racism in the United States, and global supply chains.