Course Descriptions

 

Migration Policy and Advocacy Fellows 

Take 15 credits total during the Fellows semester: three 3 credit courses plus a 6 credit internship.

I. First Course (3 credits)

Demographic Change (GOVT 444)

Tues 4:30-7:10pm

Instructor: Justin Gest, jgest@gmu.edu 

This course examines the challenges posed by global migration and the political responses of national communities to this phenomenon. In the first half of the course, we consider the nature of migration, and the dynamics of immigration policy, border control and citizenship. In the second half, we consider the issues that arise once migrants have become settled. We examine different regimes of integration and political incorporation, but also the ways that immigration provokes nativism, illiberalism, and nationalism that contribute to the disintegration of social solidarities and the invention of new ones.

At hand each week are some of the great social and political debates confronting public policy in the United States and many other countries today. Who should be admitted to the polity? What are the qualifications of membership? What are the limits of tolerance? What is the objective of migrants’ integration? Does the state have a responsibility to adapt to a diversifying constituency or must migrants adapt to the state? Should global institutions govern migration?

By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of how government institutions, society, and individuals have responded to immigration. Students will have a grounded conception of the classical structures of political membership, and how migration complicates that structure. Students will be fluent in the different approaches to integration and political incorporation. And finally, students will have a greater acquaintance with the transnational nature of contemporary migration and its relationship to local (and global) governance and policy.

II. Second Course (3 credits) (SOCI 395, ANTH 399)

Tues 10:30am-1:30pm

Instructor: Michelle Dromgold-Sermen

(Im)migration Policies and Applied Methods  

This course integrates an introduction and overview of global migration and U.S. immigration policies together with hands-on application of key research methods in migration studies and immigration policy. We will first explore the historic development of global and national policies and systems that continue to shape contemporary global migration patterns and U.S. immigration pathways. We will then explore how migration researchers and policy experts gather data about migration intentions and experiences, immigrants living in specific geographic areas, and public opinion about immigration. Through a combination of readings, in-class discussions, group collaboration, and independent assignments throughout the semester, we will explore 3-4 research methods in-depth. This tentatively includes insights into how researchers use qualitative interviews, existing quantitative data, and survey research to study migration and immigration policy. Students will have the opportunity to engage directly with each of these research methods, for example, through individually conducting an interview, independently and collectively analyzing existing data and completing an immigrant profile report, and designing and fielding a survey as a class.   

 

III. Third Course: 3 credits

Global Migration and Experiences of Displacement (ANTH 399, SOCI 395)

Tues/Thurs. 3:00-4:15

Instructor: Marwa Bakabas

In a rapidly changing world, understanding the complex dynamics of migration and displacement is more critical than ever. Through storytelling, we will look deeper into lived experiences of migration and displacement. From an anthropological lens, you will become equipped with the knowledge and insights necessary to advocate for more informed and compassionate policies and public awareness. Students will learn how to humanize abstract statistical data, allowing us to turn numbers into understanding personal experiences. Given the multifaceted complexities, students will explore the intricacies of daily life, humanitarian efforts, and ethical, social, and human rights dimensions when thinking about global mobility. As Migration Policy and Advocacy Fellows taking this course, students will embark on a journey of cultural perspectives on belonging, forms of exile, and the role of transnational communities. Students will gain perspectives through fieldwork and case studies which will be provided by ethnographic literature and qualitative data. Prepare to emerge as a well-informed, empathetic, and effective advocate for migrants and displaced communities with tools and perspectives offered by scholars and migrant stories.

IV: Internship  (6 credits): GOVT 496, ANTH 495, GLOA 495

You will engage in a 6 credit internship on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays over the course of the semester, totaling at least 270 hours of work.

Talk with your major advisor about how these internship credits can count toward your major requirements, especially in Sociology, Anthropology, Global Affairs, and GVIP.