FRLN 330: Topics in World Literature

FRLN 330-DL1: Borders & Migration: Border Crossings & Human Rights in Fiction & Film
(Spring 2021)


Section Information for Spring 2021

This course will focus on the study of human rights issues in recent border-crossing narratives by migrants and refugees, as well as in films that focus on their experiences of isolation, discrimination, adaptation and community-building. We will learn basic notions and concepts in border studies, immigration studies, intersectionality and human rights discourse, and will apply them to the study of testimonies, autobiographical narratives, novels, poetry, artwork and films about migrants and their experiences crossing borders. Readings will focus on crossings of the US-Mexico border, the borders of Europe and Australia and the experience of migrants from Mexico and Central America, Africa, and the Middle East. They include Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), Jason De León’s The Land of Open Graves (2015), Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends (2019), Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Leaving Tangier (2006), Wendy Pearlman’s We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (2017), and Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains (2019). Films may include ¡Alambrista! (1977), El Norte (1984), Sleep Dealer (2008), Frontières (2002), Human Flow (2017), Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time (2017), and relevant scenes from classical 20th-century movies and documentaries about migration. Main objectives of this course include fostering comparative critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, and ethical commitment in the study of cultural production.


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Major works of world literature with varying perspectives and topics, such as specific cultures, histories, myths, or music and the arts, as represented in literature. Notes: May be repeated when topic differs with permission of department. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 9 credits.
Mason Core: Literature
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: ENGL 101/ENGH 101 and 45 credits or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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