This cluster uses the lenses of cultural studies and sociology to critically and comparatively examine migration in different national contexts and historical moments. Students focus in particular on the complex factors shaping migrations between Latin America and the United States, Latin American and Spain, and Asia and Latin America, as well as how migration is represented in literature and culture. The courses probe questions of imperialism, economic and political policies, xenophobic discourse, transnational belonging, cultural citizenship, and how individuals and families are transformed through the process of migration. The field study trip to the US-Mexican border allows students to critically examine first-hand the interplay between U.S. migration policy, globalization, social justice movements, and individual agency. The experience includes time in both Tucson, AZ and Tijuana, Mexico.
Migrations and Borderlands Courses:
English 236: Latina/o Culture and the Art of Migration
Gloria Anzaldúa has famously described the U.S.-Mexico border as an open wound and the border culture that arises from this fraught site as a third country. This course, with Jennifer Harford Vargas, explore how Chicana/os and Latina/os creatively represent different kinds of migrations across geo-political borders and between cultural traditions to forge transnational identities and communities. Over the course of the semester, we probe the role that literature, art, film, and music can play in the struggle for migrants’ rights and minority civil rights, querying how the imagination and aesthetics can contribute to social justice.
Sociology 246: Sociology of Migration: A Cross-Cultural Overview of Contemporary Challenges
This course, taught by Veronica Montes, considers comparative and historical approaches to the sociology of immigration, with a focus on the late twentieth century through the present, spending a good deal of time on the longest running labor migration in the world, Mexican immigration to the U.S., as well as on Central American migrant communities in the United States. Students with an interest in contemporary U.S. immigration are exposed to a survey of key theoretical approaches and relevant issues in immigration studies in the social sciences.
Spanish 243: Migration in the Hispanic World
This course, taught by Rosi Song, is an introduction the history of immigration in the Hispanic world starting in the 19th century to the present day, examining how this migratory flow has been represented textually and visually in literature, art, films, and documentaries. We read theoretical texts on migration and discuss fiction and films that illustrate the experience of immigration in the Hispanic world. Students develop close-reading techniques and ways of analyzing written and visual texts that helps us frame questions about the experience of migration and its representation.