Literature of the Refugee

Autumn 2016-2017


Hadji Bakara

This course surveys the last one hundred years –– from the outbreak of World War I to the Syrian Civil War ––through the lens of texts written by and about refugees, economic migrants, stateless subjects, and camp denizens. By reading the refugee experience across the 20th and 21st centuries, this course offers undergraduate students with diverse interests an opportunity to rethink some of the most important concepts in contemporary life: security, humanity, the human, the state, race, class, and the global. In addition, it will also provide a strong grounding in past and contemporary global literatures. Readings will include novels, poems, essays, and testimonies from Bessie Head, Chris Cleave, Edwidge Danticat, Mahmoud Darwish, Muriel Rukeyser, Franz Kafka, Chimamanda Adichie, Leon Uris, Russell Banks, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt, W.H. Auden, Anna Seghers, Bertolt Brecht, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Flannery O’Connor, Dave Eggers, and John Berger. (B, G, H)