Fall 2011

Claudia Hoffmann

“Global Illegal Immigration in Film and Literature”
International Development Studies
Debates surrounding “illegal” immigration in nation states around the world often characterize undocumented immigrants as threats, dangers, nuisances, and burdens. More often than not, we approach the issue on a policy level, but in this class we want to take a look at undocumented immigration through international film and literature. Although we will address policy issues, political debates, and legal frameworks, our main focus is on the representation of undocumented immigrants in works of fiction. How is the illegal immigrant humanized or de-humanized? Does a certain way of representing migrants indicate specific national anxieties? Discussion includes clandestine migration into or across North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. We will discuss clandestine border crossings, undocumented labor, global mobility, gendered migration, deportation, among others.

Namrata Poddar

“Islands, Empire and Globalization”
Global Studies
From romanticism’s celebrations of pastoral idylls to global tourism’s commodification of islescapes, tropical islands have had a longstanding history of imperialist domination–discursive or material. Examination of islands’ negotiation with changing avatars of imperialism, historic and cultural dynamism of tropical islands (from Caribbean, Pacific, and Indian oceans), and the unique vantage point they offer toward rethinking current critical debates on creolization, transnationalism, archipelagic aesthetics, ecology, and globalization. Primary readings include a mix of fictional, historic, and critical texts drawn from fields of postcolonial, diaspora, oceanic, urban, tourism, and environmental studies. Secondary sources include film, paintings, and popular iconography.

JoAnne Ruvoli

“Narratives of Diaspora in Italian American Literature and Culture”
Department of Italian

This seminar investigates Italian American culture as it developed in the United States from immigration to ethnicity, and focuses on how migration, labor, family, and inter-ethnic conflict influence an Italian diaspora as represented through elite and vernacular forms in Italian American literature, film, music, and art.