JSIS A 492
During the last quarter of the twentieth century, state-sponsored violence and civil war displaced millions of people from their homes in the Central American isthmus. This course explores the experiences of the displaced -- in particular, those who fled across international borders to become refugees. Focusing on Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugee communities in Honduras and Mexico, we will examine the dynamics of refugee identity (with special attention to issues of indigeneity and gender); explore strategies of survival and resistance; and trace prominent themes including nation, citizenship, borders, colonialism, imperialism, rights, and humanitarianism.
Student learning goals
Students will become familiar with fundamental principles, generalizations, and theories regarding displacement and the Cold War context.
Students will gain practice in analyzing and critically evaluating ideas, arguments, and points of view.
Students will follow their own intellectual interests by asking questions and seeking answers.
General method of instruction
Discussion and debate.
This is a graduate-level seminar that expects a high level of engagement with colleagues, instructor, and course materials. Although some background in cold war Latin America will be helpful, it is not necessary.
Class assignments and grading
Reading intensive; informal presentations & discussion leadership; short critical essays OR extended research/historiographical essay; attendance and critical review of a couple of lectures outside regular class meeting times.
General engagement and discussion leadership = 30% Formal essay(s) = 60% Lectures/critical reviews = 10%