Jul 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

US 242 Place, Space, and the Global World: Exploring Immigrants and Identity

In this University seminar, the lens of place is used to explore issues of immigration, migration, and ethnic identity. Immigrants and migrants have arrived, settled, built communities, laid down roots and moved on, with others arriving after them leaving layers of material traces that give significance to the present, document the past, and point to the future. They have left material traces and maintained connections with home villages in previous centuries of immigration as well as in contemporary times. Forms can be aesthetic expressions, hold memories and give meaning to everyday lives, and are symbolic of who we are in an increasingly globalized world. Students learn how different disciplines use place as an interpretive mode to understand the relationship of ethnicity to place(s), how difference (ethnicity, gender, race) is delineated in space, the politics of public space, issues of memory and place (including transnational connections), and globalization and place. A diverse range of reading assignments, images, video, and four field trips to Philadelphia will augment class discussion. The class visits a Puerto Rican urban garden and casita, a Palestinian mosque and deli, the 9th Street Market, and Chestnut Hill. The students hear firsthand from the people who work and live in these places their significance for them and the connections or disconnections of meaning they hold. An interdisciplinary approach is also reflected in the kinds of assignments required of students. In introducing students to the topic of diversity and difference, the concept of worldview and how it varies cross-culturally and over time is discussed. An ethnographic fieldwork project is required in which students must interview at least one person. During the course of the semester, through in-class exercises and take-home assignments, students are guided step-by-step in the methodology of conducting original research.