LATS 405(F) Home and Belonging: Comparative Explorations of Displacements, Relocations, and Place-making (Same as American Studies 405) (W)*
The metaphor of "home" and idea of "belonging" bring insight to theories and investigations centered on community building and identity formation within and across national borders. These constructions give us an indication of what people value, what is worth fighting for, as well as what is considered expendable. Our objective in this course is to interrogate constructions of home and belonging by studying how individuals, communities, and nations are transformed by experiences of dislocation, migration, and renewed place-making. What are the ways a sense of belonging shapes these identities and the investments made in these formations? Working with ethnography, history, memoir, literature, critical essays, and documentary film, we will consider the personal and political uses and meanings of memory, nostalgia, and imagination in "rooting" migrating subjects in place and time. Among the many case studies we will examine are the politics of homeland among Cuban-Americans, Native American and West Indian festive forms, and place-claiming and performativity among African Americans. Format: seminar. Evaluation will be based on class participation, class presentations, research proposal, and a final research paper. Prerequisites: Prior work in American Studies, Latino Studies, or permission of instructor. Enrollment limit: 19 (expected: 19). Preference given to senior American Studies majors and to senior Latina/o Studies concentrators.