Citizenship, Migration, and Rights 

Migration is not only a process or an experience, but a lens through which we can study the world around us. Issues of migration reveal insights about geopolitics and global inequality. One seemingly simple question that drives the scholarship around migration is: Why do people migrate? Wrapped up in this question, however, are issues of economic insecurity, political persecution, opportunity, transnational ties, and diasporic connections, to name only a few topics. Almost any topic that you are interested in can be broached through the lens of migration. One of our goals for this class is develop the tools and insight to be able to make such connections. Our course will include a deep investigation into the experiences of undocumented migrants in the United States. We will be focused on the question: How does legal status shape one’s experience of migration? To investigate this question deeply, we will broach several other important questions, including: How do states control movement? What happens after people settle in a new country? How do individuals and their families experience social and political incorporation? What are the experiences of migrants’ children? How does gender, race, nationality, and sexuality shape belonging?

Genocide and the Law

Through a sociological lens, we will develop the tools to search for nuance and variation across cases and through time. We will ask: What is genocide? How does it occur? Why does it occur? Why do people participate, resist, or become bystanders? We will address issues of human rights, agency, survival, and ancestry. We will investigate responsibility and accountability. The course will include an in-depth examination of several cases, including: the Holocaust and genocide against Indigenous peoples, as well as the Armenian, Rwandan, and Cambodian genocides.


Refugees, States, and the International System of Refugee Management 

This class is organized by the movement trajectory of a “composite” refugee. Beginning with flight from the conflict country, we will learn about refugee hosting in the countries of the Global South, resettlement in the countries of the Global North, asylum-seeking, and return and incorporation. While very few individual refugees pass through all these stages and places, we will use these categories to analyze different types of refugee policies and experiences. We will learn how refugees are embedded in a world system of control and humanitarian protection in which policymaking in one context is strongly shaped by actors elsewhere.