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Media, Migration and Sanctuary

Semester and Year SU 2019
Course Number IDSEM-UG2020
Section 001
Instructor Paula Chakravartty
Days TR
Time 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC


Session I: May 28 - July 7.


Media narratives about migrants and the “migration crisis” have transformed politics in the US and across much of the world in the last few years. In this course, we will examine the historical and structural causes of modern migration, dispossession and displacement here in the US and globally. We will then focus on the role of media across platforms and technologies in shaping 21st century public understandings of race, national belonging and citizenship. The second half of the course turns to migrant media worlds and social movements that contest dominant politics and narratives of migration in the U.S. Here, we will focus on a specific case study of the New Sanctuary Movement, which we can trace its roots back to the stowaway houses and escape routes of the abolition movement, but is most associated with efforts to protect Latin American refugees fleeing U.S.-sponsored violence during the cold war in the 1980s. This movement saw a resurgence under the Obama administration and a nation-wide growth after the Trump election. Drawing from this case study, students will reflect on their experiences through a combination of media coverage, guest lectures and field visits. The course draws from inter-disciplinary scholarship in Anthropology, History, Media and Cultural Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Readings may include: Leo Chavez.  The Latino threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation ; Karma Chavez,  Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities ; Aziz Choudry et. al, eds.  Just Work?: Migrant Workers Struggles Today ; Roberto G Gonzales,  Lives in limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America ; Ghassan Hage,  Is Racism an Environmental Threat? ; Jenna Loyd, et al., eds.  Beyond walls and cages: Prisons, borders, and global crisis ; Mae Ngai,  Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America ; Mimi Nguyen,  The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt and other Refugee Passages ; Junaid Rana,  Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora ; Audra Simpson,  Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States .


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)