Introductory seminar course: Forced Displacement in Contemporary American Literature - Details
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Lehrveranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.

General information

Course name Introductory seminar course: Forced Displacement in Contemporary American Literature
Course number 024 100 0017
Semester WS 2023/24
Current number of participants 24
maximum number of participants 30
Home institute Amerikanistik
Courses type Introductory seminar course in category Teaching
First date Friday, 20.10.2023 10:00 - 11:30, Room: (D, 1087)
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache englisch

Rooms and times

(D, 1087)
Friday: 10:00 - 11:30, weekly (15x)

Module assignments


As of May 2023, “[m]ore than 110 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record” (https://www.unrefugees.org/refugee-facts/statistics/). Undeniably, forced displacement is one of the main humanitarian, political, and ethical crises of our times and has naturally also found its way into contemporary cultural productions across the globe.

In this seminar, we will first attempt to find a working definition of forced migration and some of the key concepts that are connected to it. Questions that will guide us are, among others, what might it mean to be forcibly displaced? What are the differences between stateless and internally displaced persons and refugees? What are commonalities between these seemingly different groups? Philosophical and theoretical texts from forced migration studies will be guiding us in these discussions. Politically and legally, we will consider US national laws as well as the Geneva Convention and definitions by the UNHCR, always also asking questions of basic human rights and ethical responsibility. Throughout, the North American continent will be a focal point, but at the same time we will be thinking about the necessary complexities of transnational connections for the issue of forced migration.

Ultimately, this working definition of forced migration will be the basis for the reading of the fictional texts that we’ll be discussing. We will consider narrative texts from various genres and supplement our readings with other cultural production, like photography or film.

All students are expected to have read all the primary texts (including, but not limited to, two whole novels) as well as the other source material in preparation for the individual sessions.
Texts that need to be acquired (used copies are fine, of course):
- George Takei, They Called Us Enemy (2019)
- Patricia Engel, Infinite Country (2022)
- Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive (2020)

If your attending this seminar for modules EAS-1411 or EAS-1414, please note that it is mandatory for you to also attend the Narrative Analysis seminar (either Mon, 5.30-7 pm or Thurs, 10-11.30 am).

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "ALW/ELW/NELK: Aufbaumodul BA/LA: PS".
Studierende der Anglistik/Amerikanistik und des Faches Englisch können sich bereits während der vorgezogenen Anmeldephase zur Sicherstellung des Studienfortschritts für die Aufbau- und Vertiefungsmodule anmelden. Hierzu wird ein gewisses Kontingent der Kursplätze im Zeitraum vom 21.08.2023 bis 30.08.2023 für die Anmeldung geöffnet. Die Verteilung der Plätze erfolgt am 01.09.2023. Bitte beachten Sie, dass in dieser Anmeldephase Studierende in höheren Fachsemestern bei der Verteilung der Plätze priorisiert werden.
Die allgemeine Anmeldephase beginnt am 04.09.2023 und endet am 09.10.2023.
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • The enrolment is possible from 04.09.2023, 08:00 to 09.10.2023, 12:00.
  • Enrolment is allowed for up to 1 courses of the admission set.
  • A defined number of seats will be assigned to these courses.
    The seats in the affected courses have been assigned at 09.10.2023 on 15:15. Additional seats may be available via a wait list.
Assignment of courses: