Barbara Alfano

For many decades, Italy’s geographical position in the center of the Mediterranean Sea has made the country a preferred port of entry into Europe for migrants coming from North Africa, joined over time by people coming from Eastern Europe, Albania, China, the Far East, South America, and lately, from Syria. Some of Italy’s Southern regions have been in a perpetual state of emergency for many years, as migrant survivors land on its beaches in desperate conditions. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Italy now hosts migrants of the second and third generation, but it finds difficulty calling them citizens. Through journal articles, documentaries, films, and literature this course focuses on the social changes that Italy has undergone under the influence of migrant cultures, and on the country’s resistance to those. Students will continue developing their speaking skills, widening their vocabulary and strengthening the use of complex linguistic structures. As far as writing, student will initiate their transition from a paragraph-level discourse to a more sophisticated and analytical text. The course is conducted in Italian. Intermediate level.

Ginger Lin

While movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have helped Chinese cinema broadened its appeal and consolidate its position as a significant force in international cinema, such historical fantasies may not do much to help us understand modern Chinese culture. Fortunately, there is much more to contemporary Chinese cinema, and many fine Chinese language films are available that may shed more light on modern Chinese culture. Films centered on the issues of migrant workers and scripts of selected scenes from those films serve as a rich source of authentic texts for this course. Through viewing these films, reading and discussing excerpts from their scripts as well as various four skills exercises including grammar review, students will gain insights into the changing culture of modern China. They will do so while building on their competencies in listening, speaking, reading, writing Mandarin Chinese.

Ben Anastas

The recent mass migrations of people due to armed conflict, the globalized economy, the fall of the colonial world order and climate change have unsettled political establishments throughout the West and set of waves of pro-nationalist and anti-immigrant protests. In literature, however, the voices of the dispossessed have arguably never been stronger or more influential. This class will pair the reading of fiction from the new Literature of Global Dislocation–Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World (Mexico); Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker (Haiti, the U.S.); Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth (the U.S., Vietnam); Hisham Mater’s In the Country of Men (Libya); and many more–with readings in postcolonial theory, philosophy, and literary criticism. 

John Hultgren

What is the basis for granting someone membership within a political community? What obligations do we have toward those who are not formally members of our political community? Is “the nation” - today's dominant form of political community - capable of meeting the ethical challenges of a globalizing world? Is an alternative form of political community possible and/or desirable? We will pursue these questions through both theoretical interventions and empirical analysis. In terms of the former, we will engage with scholarship from international relations theory, political philosophy, and border and migration studies. In terms of the latter, we will turn to case studies that shed light on the forces producing migration and displacement (e.g. financial speculation, climate change, war), and on the social and political reactions engendered by newly emerging patterns of migration (e.g. new nativisms and fundamentalisms, but also new modes of transnational collective action and identity). As part of the course, students will be expected to attend the speakers series put together for the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement and Education.

Camille Guthrie

This scriptorium, a “place for writing,” will function as a class for multilingual writers interested in improving their essay-writing skills. We will read to write and write to read, following the originator of the form, Montaigne. Much of our time will be occupied with writing and revising—essai means “trial” or “attempt”—as we work to create new habits and strategies for our analytical writing. As we practice various essay structures with the aim of developing a persuasive, well-supported thesis, we will also revise collaboratively, improve our research skills, and study grammar, usage, and style—paying attention to the strengths and challenges that arise out of writing in two or more languages. In our study of the form of the academic essay, our aim is to learn to write with complexity, imagination, and clarity. We will read model examples of form and content on the theme of borders and boundaries; texts will include essays, novels, art, and poems from Barthes, Bishop, Butler, Chang, Cole, Dijkstra, Douglas, Fanon, Foucault, Haraway, Hurston, Long Soldier, Lorde, Ovid, Rushdie, Satrapi, Shakespeare, Sinclair, Turner, Wittig, Woolf. As we interrogate real and imaginary perimeters, we will ask many questions: What occurs in those liminal spaces? How do power structures keep borders intact? Who and what gets put into the margins? What if those boundaries are transgressed? What happens to the body and toidentity when one is “in between”? How do you conceive of yourself if you are neither “here nor there,” “nowhere and everywhere”? As we examine actual walls, rites of passage, cyborgs, and Ovarian Psycos, we will also look at liminality at the sentence level.

Andrea Galindo

Human rights are universal legal guarantees that protect individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Under international human rights law, states have the responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill human rights for all. If these obligations are not met, international legal action can be taken. Based on the legal standards adopted by the international community over time, this module aims to provide students with the basic concepts of international human rights law, its sources, and the general protection that institutions provide to protect these guarantees.
Through the course the students will explore:
– What are human rights?
– What are the main international instruments that safeguard HR?
– Where do rules on human rights come from?
– Who makes these rules? And who monitors those?
– What is the role of the international and regional organizations?
The course will provide a comprehensive understanding of the International Human Rights Law and its importance.

Vahidin Omanovic

In this Module, students will gain an understanding of the United Nations conventions pertaining to refugees, and the different forms of forced migration. Vahidin will then share his own direct experience of his time as a refugee, specifically how people live in refugee camps and how they are structured and managed. Students will be asked to examine their own responses to this lived experience by so many current populations around the world. Students will then be asked, “What Can I Do? and will be required to complete a proposal for a project that will address the refugee crisis.

Burcu Seyben

Migration and migrants have been explored extensively in theatre, film, and documentaries. The Immigrants’ Theatre Project by NYC-ARTS in New York, Royal Court Theatre in London, and Gorki Theatre in Berlin are some of the theatre companies that especially help immigrant playwrights to develop works about the experience of migration. Ariane Mnouchkine, Robert Lepage and Rimini Protokoll, are only a few of the renowned theatre directors who have questioned many different aspects of migration in their theatrical productions. Atom Egoyan and Fatih Akin belong to a vast number of film directors whose filmography has a number of films with themes ranging from the integration of migrants into their new homes, to post-exilic traumas about a lost home. Documentaries about migration have been constantly increasing because of the number of refugees who launch on difficult journeys due to the wars currently throughout the world.

This course will focus on various themes on the migration experience in plays, films, and documentaries. The themes will include the journey of physically moving/escaping to another country, detention at the borders, difficulties of assimilating to the new country, identity crisis, dreaming/creating/inventing a new home, and homesickness and/or homelessness. The students will be expected to respond to a number of plays, films and documentaries as well as create a ten-minute project about the experience of immigration.