Anthropology of Refugees, Asylum, and Forced Migration


What does it mean to be a refugee? Where do refugees reside, and from where do they originate? How are they distinguished, legally and in the public imagination, from other migrants? What challenges do they face? This course will address these questions and many more, giving students a detailed and nuanced understanding of asylum and international protection in the contemporary world. After a brief overview of the history of refugee status and asylum, the course will focus on modern-day populations of refugees and asylum seekers and the primary challenges they face. Topics to be covered include: refugee camps, refugee resettlement, asylum seekers, Palestinian refugees, women refugees, LGBTQIA+ refugees, climate refugees, mental health, refugee integration and adaptation, and public response to refugees. Additionally, we will discuss different career paths for working with refugees and asylum seekers, and we will welcome several guest speakers with experience in this field, including a psychologist, a documentary filmmaker, a journalist, and a social worker. Students will have the opportunity to complete a migrant interview project, in which they will interview a friend, family member, or other close acquaintance who is a migrant with the guidance of the instructor, culminating in a final paper. Alternatively, they may choose to complete a traditional term paper. Class materials will include articles and book chapters from the fields of anthropology, history, psychology, and political science as well as newspaper articles, documentary films, and short videos. This course will be useful for students hoping to work in migration, humanitarian aid, or global health in the future. Prerequisites: None. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology is recommended, but not required. The course can be successfully completed without having taken other anthropology courses. Please consult the instructor if you have any concerns.
Course Attributes: EN S; AS LCD; AS SSC

Section 01

Anthropology of Refugees, Asylum, and Forced Migration
View Course Listing - FL2023