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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

MALS 346 Diasporas and Migrations

Over the past two decades, the term diaspora has gained wide currency and intense scrutiny in scholarly work. Originating in the Hebrew Bible as prophesy of the Jewish “dispersion in all kingdoms of the earth,” contemporary uses of the term have accrued meaning in a variety of contexts and disciplines to designate "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland.” Considering mass-migration, exile, and expulsion in all sectors of the world, this seminar will focus on a variety of concepts and theories related to diaspora. Studying a range of ethnographic, historical, theoretical, and literary texts, we will compare Jewish, African, and Asian diasporas in the context of historical, cultural and territorial characteristics. We will also discuss questions such as “the power of diaspora” vs. homeland, the role of the nation state vs. transnational or post-national aspects of culture, cultural identity, and hybridity.


Regine Rosenthal; Klaus Milich