FT 08-B Immigration and Exile
Agata Szczeszak-Brewer, Department of English
Can a nation of migrants define itself clearly? If so, what do we gain or lose by arriving at a clear-cut definition of national identity? Why is immigration such a contentious issue? This tutorial will focus on legal and illegal immigration in the U.S., as well as global migration of people. We will research and discuss economically-motivated migration, political exile, a relatively new concept of eco-migration (caused by global warming and climate change), and other forms of resettlement. We will investigate problems faced by immigrant communities (e.g. racism, xenophobia, abuse of power in U.S. institutions, inhumane treatment in detention camps, attempts to maintain tradition on the one hand, and to assimilate on the other), problems within the immigrant communities, and issues raised by anti-immigrant movements and legislation. A part of the course will also be devoted to exploration of immigration and exile in literature, film, and art. Prior to their arrival on campus, students will read Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. This fall, we will also discuss other novels, journal and newspaper articles, documents, and documentaries. The course will include guest lectures and a service-learning component.