Taught by Assistant Professor of Anthropology Susanna Fioratta, offered in Fall 2019.
What's Cool: In this class, students will push through the surface of today's fraught immigration debates, and explore more deeply how borders, barriers, fences, and walls not only structure people’s movement but also make this movement meaningful in particular ways. The class is being offered as part of the 360° "Borderlands." The other cool classes in the 360° are "The Environment on China’s Borderlands," taught by Associate Professor of East Asian Studies Yonglin Jiang and "Plants and People" taught by Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology Jon Wilson from Haverford College. The 360° includes field study in China’s borderlands, focusing on Yunnan province.
Course Description: Borders are often taken for granted as natural divisions in the world, but they are actually the products of political, historical, and social processes. Border crossing is often framed as an aberration or even a crisis, but people have moved for as long as humans have existed. How do we make sense of these contradictions? How do borders give meaning to movement? How do people who move—or, who desire to move—engage, evade, or make use of borders? This course approaches borders from an anthropological perspective by foregrounding the experiences of the people who move across them. Focusing on specific instances of mobility in their sociocultural contexts, we will investigate moving and belonging across borders from the viewpoints of people variously categorized as migrants and refugees, giving particular attention to how these categories take on meaning in everyday life. From here, we will consider how broader issues of state power and sovereignty, belonging and exclusion, and global inequality intersect with the movements of people around the world.
"Cool Classes" highlights new and interesting classes at Bryn Mawr. To see the full listing of Anthropology courses being offered, visit the department page. Visit the Cool Classes homepage to see more of these stories from across a range of programs and disciplines at Bryn Mawr.