ENGLISH 317 - Literature and Culture
Winter 2018, Section 002 - The Literature of the Refugee
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


Refugees are too often treated as invisible peoples: without a home, a history, a future, or a politics. This course contests those assumptions. It introduces students to an extraordinary archive of literature written by and about refugees, migrants, and stateless peoples over the last century. Readings will include novels, poems, essays, films, art, and performances from writers originating in South Africa, Italy, Greece, China, Botswana, Palestine, Kenya, Vietnam, Israel, Morocco, Somalia, Britain, Germany, and the United States. Through readings, class discussions, and written and oral assignments, students will rethink some of the most important topics in contemporary life: security, humanity, borders, mobility, the human, the state, race, class, and citizenship.

Readings will be drawn from some of the following texts, many of them contemporary:

  • Chris Cleave Little Bee (2008)
  • Viet Thahn Nguyen The Refugees (2017)
  • Bessie Head A Question of Power (1973)
  • Ayelet Gunder–Goshen, Waking Lions (2016)
  • Dave Eggers What is the What (2007)
  • Shailja Patel Migritude (2012)
  • Joe Sacco Palestine (2001)
  • Russell Banks Continental Drift (1985)
  • Jenney Erpenbeck Go Went (2017)
  • Course Requirements:

    Two Short Essays; bi-weekly writing assignments; group research project and presentation.


    ENGLISH 317 - Literature and Culture
    Schedule Listing
    001 (LEC)
     In Person
    TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
    1/3/18 - 4/17/18
    002 (LEC)
     In Person
    MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
    1/3/18 - 4/17/18

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