WGS 304 - Gender and Immigration: Identity, Race, and Place
Fall 2022, Section 001 - Refugees of Unjust Worlds: Globalization, Gender and Nation
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)
Department: LSA Women's and Gender Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
The seminar is intended for junior and senior undergraduates but sophomores are also welcome.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Refugees, migrants, immigrants, diaspora groups, and transnational actors are all terms that describe people who undertake different acts of mobility or travel across borders to seek refuge. But how are these terms different? This course focuses on these various acts of mobility to show how they are labeled differently under different political and social circumstances. We examine the gendered cultural and political meanings people and governments give to mobility, border-crossing, and displacement in this turbulent time in the era of globalization and transnationalism. In this course we will also emphasize the experiences of both old and new generations of immigrants in order to understand the historical context of migration, globalization, and the processes involved in the imagination of place and nation building. One important lesson that students learn in this class is that the political processes that define the often-conflated meanings attached to the refugee, immigrant, and diaspora population cannot be divorced from histories of nationalism and transnationalism and their deeply rooted constructions in gender, race, ethnic, and class relations. Race, ethnicity, and sexism are significant components, and the course addresses them through cross-cultural ethnographies, media reports, documentary films, art, and other texts to explain how citizens and non-citizens are marked differently based on both legal and cultural terminologies. Students also learn that systems of racialization and discrimination don’t just happen at the moment of border-crossing or when refugees, migrants, and diaspora populations settle in new homelands; these modes of exclusion are also experienced in various forms in their countries of origin. Some of the forces that lead to situations of refugee-ness, migration, and dispersal include religious, ethnic, gender, racial, and political discrimination encountered at home. The course examines the different forms of these discriminations and how refugee, immigrant, and diaspora communities encounter them, live them, negotiate them, and resist them through their own cultural practices and other strategies of activism. We will particularly explore how questions of power, race, and class intersect to shape refugees and immigrants’ daily struggles for justice and human rights. How do refugees and immigrants attempt to create and “imagine” their own social world with reference to their new locations and their homelands? Our readings and discussion will focus on cultural and theoretical perspectives from the social sciences, specifically anthropology, history, and literature. And we will take as examples the ethnographies and narratives of immigrants from different parts of the world, specifically Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The seminar is intended for junior and senior undergraduates but sophomores are also welcome.

Intended Audience:

The seminar is intended for junior and senior undergraduates but sophomore are also welcome.


WGS 304 - Gender and Immigration: Identity, Race, and Place
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

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