SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World: Migration, Space, Identities

Module Code:
15PANH086
Credits:
15
FHEQ Level:
7
Year of study:
Any
Taught in:
Term 1

What is migration? Is this the “age of migration”? What is diaspora and what challenges do diasporic communities bring to modern political constructions such as the nation-state, national “imagined” communities, citizenship and their associated metaphysics of sedentarism? This course will explore these issues by critically engaging with the ways in which migration and diaspora have been understood historically and in modern and contemporary times. Different theories, approaches, and disciplinary angles will be introduced and discussed. We will also consider what de-colonising approaches to migration and diaspora might look like.

By drawing on established and less charted bodies of work on migration studies, diaspora and identity, transnationalism, postcolonial and de-colonial studies the course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the emergence of diasporas, the reformulation of 'home' and the simultaneous instability and reinforcement of nation-states. The second part of the course offers ethnographic explorations of borders, sovereignties and governmentalities of migration. We will examine how the bio-political control of migration is practiced at borders and on bodies, shaping migrant and refugee journeys and subjectivities.

Prerequisites

  • Students enrol via the online Module Sign-Up system.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Learning Outcomes:
  1. Understand the parameters of analysis and stakes involved in migration and diaspora theories and their applicability.
  2. Use interdisciplinary approaches to analyze the past and present phenomenon of migration and the formation of diasporic communities.
  3. Apply increased analytical and research skills to contemporary topics related to migration and diaspora.
  4. Read texts closely and critically.
  5. Reflect critically and in nuanced ways on the politics of knowledge production involved in representing migrant and diasporas in academic and non academic literature.
  6. Understand how "migration" is a lens to analyse wider issues including: governmentality, borders meaning and making, nationalism and the formation and evolution of racial capitalist systems.
  7. Acquire theoretical skills enabling social and political change

Workload

One hour lecture and one hour seminar per week.

Scope and syllabus

Week 1: Introduction to Migration and Diaspora studies: map and outline of the course
Week 2: Conceiving Migration and Diaspora: Decolonising Knowledge/Power
Week 3: The production of Otherness. Emotional Economies of Fear
Week 4: Diaspora consciousness, exile and the experience of dislocation
Week 5: Frictions of im/mobility. Uncovering migrant journeys
Week 6: Refugee Crises? A global south perspective.
Week 7: Home-making and meaning across borders
Week 8: Who is human? Biopolitics and the governmentality of movements
Week 9: Bodies and Border/lands: ethnographic explorations
Week 10: Citizenship, deportability, and ‘illegality’. From Windrush to the “Muslim ban”

Method of assessment

  • AS1: Blog entry -50%
  • AS2: Creative production plus commentary - 50%

Suggested reading


Fassin, D. 2013, On Resentment and Ressentiment: The Politics and Ethics of Moral Emotions in Current Anthropology 54:3, 249-267.

Vertovec, S.2018. The public understanding of migration. Max Planck Society Newsroom (2018).

Appadurai, A. 2006. Fear of small numbers: An essay on the geography of anger. Durham, N.C.; London: Duke University Press.

Ioanide, P. 2015. The emotional politics of racism: How feelings trump facts in an era of colorblindness. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Anderson B. (2013) Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Introduction.

Crawley, H., Skleparis, D. (2018). Refugees, Migrants, Neither, Both: Categorical Fetishism and the Politics of Bounding in Europe’s ‘Migration Crisis.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44, 48–64.

Fassin, D. (2011) “Policing Borders, Producing Boundaries. The Governmentality of Immigration in Dark Times”. Annual Review of Anthropology, 40, 213-226.

N. De Genova and N. Peutz (2010). The Deportation Regime: sovereignty, space and the freedom of movement. Duke University Press. Introduction.

Rosa, J., & Bonilla, Y. (2017). Deprovincializing Trump, decolonizing diversity, and unsettling anthropology. American Ethnologist, 44, 201–208.

Bucholtz, M. 2019 The public life of white affects. J Sociolinguistics. 23: 485– 504

Khosravi, S. (2010) “Illegal Traveller”: an auto-ethnography of borders’.

Iosif K. and Robins, S. (2017) “Missing migrants: deaths at sea and unidentified bodies in Lesbos” in: Madeleine Hurd, Hastings Donnan and Carolin Leutloff-Grandits Migrating Borders and Moving Times: Temporality and the Crossing of Borders in Europe (pp. 157-175)

Salih, R. (2017) 'Bodies that walk, bodies that talk, bodies that love. Palestinian women refugees, affectivity and the politics of the ordinary.' Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 49 (3). pp. 742-760.

Salih R. (2018) 'Refugees and cathartic politics. From human rights to the right to be human' in South Atlantic Quarterly 117:(1) 135-155.

Navaro-Yashin, Y. (2008). “Life Is Dead Here”: Sensing the Political in “No Man’s Land”. In Panourgiá N. & Marcus G. (Eds.), Ethnographica Moralia: Experiments in Interpretive Anthropology (pp. 168-187). New York: Fordham University.

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