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Law and Culture of Migration Seminar, Georgetown University

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:23 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
Critics of our contemporary border regime are often asked, so then are you in favor of open borders? The question is often a gesture of dismissal rather than genuine engagement. And it is almost always premature. Most of us who live in the United States do not have a very deep understanding of what our immigration policies are, how they came to be, or our relation to those who arrive at our borders. Before we can meaningfully address the question of open borders, we need to unsettle borders, defamiliarize, demystify, and recontextualize them. By “borders,” I am referring not only to lines on the map or the territorial limits of national sovereignty, but the idea of the border, one that governs andcontains our political, disciplinary, and normative framing of questions about migration and membership. There are no prerequisites for this class, but students should be prepared to engage with variety of materials, not limited to legal cases or statutes. This interdisciplinary seminar is intended to offer students a contextualized study of immigration law by engaging literature, film, memoir, and recent scholarship in literature, history, ethnic and migration studies. While the immigrant often appears within immigration law as a “problem” for the state to resolve, this course resituates the immigrant as the source of knowledge production and political vision. Given the unprecedented numbers of displaced people living in the world and looming climate catastrophe, the contemporary global border regime is ethically and practically unsustainable. And for this reason, it is essential that we learn to expand our political imaginary. Students will be expected to draft short weekly reflections, to participate in leading our seminar discussion at least once during the semester, and to submit a final paper on a topic of their own choosing. This information has been collected for the Post-Discipline Online Syllabus Database. The database explores the use of literature by schools of professional education in North America. It forms part of a larger project titled Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities, led by Dr Merve Emre with the assistance of Dr Hayley G. Toth. You can find more information about the project at Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.


Subject Area


Geographic Region

South Atlantic

University or College

Georgetown University

Funding Status


Endowment (according to NACUBO's U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20) ($1,000)


Annual Tuition and Mandatory Fees 2021-2022 ($) (Resident; Non-resident, where applicable)


Course Title

Law and Culture of Migration Seminar

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)

PhD Literature

Position of Instructor(s)

Associate Professor of Law

Academic Year(s) Active


Course Enrolment


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