Section Information for Spring 2021
This course will focus on the study of human rights issues in recent border-crossing narratives by migrants and refugees, as well as in films that focus on their experiences of isolation, discrimination, adaptation and community-building. We will learn basic notions and concepts in border studies, immigration studies, intersectionality and human rights discourse, and will apply them to the study of testimonies, autobiographical narratives, novels, poetry, artwork and films about migrants and their experiences crossing borders. Readings will focus on crossings of the US-Mexico border, the borders of Europe and Australia and the experience of migrants from Mexico and Central America, Africa, and the Middle East. They include Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), Jason De León’s The Land of Open Graves (2015), Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends (2019), Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Leaving Tangier (2006), Wendy Pearlman’s We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (2017), and Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains (2019). Films may include ¡Alambrista! (1977), El Norte (1984), Sleep Dealer (2008), Frontières (2002), Human Flow (2017), Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time (2017), and relevant scenes from classical 20th-century movies and documentaries about migration. Main objectives of this course include fostering comparative critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, and ethical commitment in the study of cultural production.