Migration is a worldwide phenomenon posing both opportunities and challenges for immigrants, their families, their countries of origin and the countries to which they move. Immigration policy often inspires virulent debates over border control, national identity, admission and citizenship policies, "guest" workers and bilingualism. The issues raise fundamental questions about human rights, citizenship and a political community's rights to define and defend itself. The challenges are exacerbated by the facts that contemporary immigration is managed by nation-states, while migrants move in response to global economics and transnational relationships. This course deals with these issues by examining the social, economic and political forces giving rise to immigration today; the different ways nations have chosen to define citizenship and how those rules affect immigrants; the different strategies nations have used to incorporate immigrants; attempts to control immigration and their consequences; and the implications of immigration for recipient societies. About half of the course deals with the immigration experience and controversies in the United States, particularly with respect to migration from Mexico. The other half looks at these issues in Western Europe as well as in the developing world. This course is sometimes taught with a community-based research component, depending on the instructor. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
Cultural productions of the U.S.A.–Mexico borderlands is a vast field often underrepresented in undergraduate curricula. Even so, the contributions of writers and artists of the borderlands to literature, visual and public art, cultural theory and political activism are among the richest in the U.S. This course introduces the Mesoamerican concept of nepantla, the ancient philosophy of dwelling in the existential middle space, as an anchor to examine the literature and cultural productions of the U.S.A.-Mexico borderlands. An interdisciplinary methodology combining history, literary analysis and visual studies, engages with the emancipated selves that Chicanos/as produce at the junction of transnational capitalism, colonial expansion and globalization. This focus on the disruption of global technologies of exclusion, domination and control offers students the opportunity to look beyond local histories to see new asymmetries produced by transnational systems in the era of globalization. Students will examine how Chicanos, empowered by the rich traditions of their indigenous iconographies, expose the failure of these systems that claim to pursue the betterment of all, while actually remaining indifferent to, or possibly ignorant of, the poor of color and the poor around the globe. Themes explored in the course include: the politics of representation in the borderlands, globalization and the colonial legacies of modernity, and nuanced conceptualizations of transnational borderlands through works by Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Guillermo Gómez Peña, Luis Alberto Urrea, Consuelo Jiménez Underwood, Ester Hernández, Alma Lopez, David Botello and Gregorio Nava. Readings and class discussion will be in English but students may choose to read and write in Spanish when primary and secondary sources are available. Another objective of this course is to offer students opportunities to learn through community engaged-learning. This course fulfills the core course requirement for the Latina/o Studies Concentration. It also counts towards the major in American Studies, International Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, Religious Studies and Spanish Area Studies.