English and drama

Immigrant America

Module code: Q3175
Level 6
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Film
Assessment modes: Coursework

Since the 1950s, America has identified itself as 'a nation of immigrants' and in your Junior Year Abroad you will have seen evidence of that.

Immigrant America will focus primarily on the 20th Century history and culture of immigrants of the first second, and third generation. The aim is to enable you to build on what you will have experienced of American (im)migration during your JYA and make the most of it in an individual research project that should be the best work you have ever done.

We will kick off with some theoretical reflections and historical investigations of migration and ethnicity before studying the cultural production and historical experience of various ethnic groups and individual writers and filmmakers.

In subsequent weeks we study Italian Americans and Jewish Americans of the turn of the 20th Century, for example; as well as Mexican migration to the US today, plus a variety of others.

As well as classical models of transatlantic immigration, we will also look at internal and queer migration and the experience of children and refugees.

Module learning outcomes

  • Systematic knowledge of the process of migration, its motivating factors, and the way it is variously experienced by different groups historically and culturally
  • Ability to critically assess theories of ethnicity and their relevance to the migrant experience in interdisciplinary perspective
  • Ability to relate current debates regarding immigration, both in Europe and in the U.S., to migration history and tropes in political/social/cultural discourse
  • Ability to demonstrate acquired knowledge in an oral presentation informed by research
  • Ability to carry out an interdisciplinary research project and present it in clear, fluent and convincing academic prose and apply the appropriate conventions for referencing and presentation