Jul 25, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FREN 332 - Immigration in Europe

Global media have long been fascinated with images of migrants from the South enduring perilous journeys in their attempts to enter Europe through land or sea. These images have produced series of standard narratives, especially since the 2010s, rather than a deep understanding. With the help of theorists such as Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, Achille Mbembe or Sarah Mekdjian, this course will analyze mass media images of immigration, juxtaposing them with more nuanced representations from European cinema and literature. Works from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain will be examined to study specific issues (from detention camps in and out of the Schengen space to integration and citizenship of several generations, from cultural exclusions to hospitality, love, and success stories). Each of the major European countries has a different historical, geographical, and economic relationship with the migrants’ countries of origin, and the course will proceed comparatively, seeking not just commonalities but also significant differences among the European countries receiving migrants. Questions of race, ethnicity, gender, race, religion and differences will be important concerns. The materials for the class are diverse. They include documents about the vocabulary, law, practices of migration, and refugee and migrant rights, written memoirs and fiction, films, graphic novels, critical essays, and interactive and creative maps.  Starting with classics that deal directly with immigration such as Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), the course will carry its analysis forward to current fiction films. In addition, some documentary films such as Kal Touré’s Victims of our Riches (2006), Fire at Sea (2016), and Welcome to Refugistan (2016) will be screened for background information. Narratives include short works by writers such as Igiaba Scego, Laila Lallami, Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo, Fatou Diome among others (materials for the course are regularly updated to remain current). The course features conversations with guests (human rights lawyers, community members, and artists) during the semester. The course functions as a discussion seminar. Student work includes presentations to the class and several short papers. Occasionally. (4 Credits)