Stories, Bodies, Bordercrossings, Fall 2014

  • Picture of 2 students writing on a white board, in the background are words such as  politics, power and deception.

Here is the description of a Freshman Seminar on ‘Stories, Bodies, and Border-crossings’ taught by Diyah Larasati and Richa Nagar in Fall 2014 as part of the Humanistic Commons in the College of Liberal Arts at University of Minnesota:

Stories are told, written, and performed to articulate resistance across the borders of nations, communities, and struggles. Writers, community workers, artists, and activists narrate stories for self- and collective transformation and for grappling with the intricacies of power -- internationally, nationally, locally, and in the realm of the familial and the personal. In so doing, these storytellers also conceptualize, insert, and mobilize "the body" in material and symbolic ways. This Humanistic Commons freshman seminar explores story/ narrative, dance, and performance as imagined, practiced, and transformed by people who cross borders in multiple sites of struggle. We will work through the concepts of "mobility" and "political economy of culture" in relation to the idea of ‘the margins’ as applied to and/or claimed by minority groups, activists, and others in the United States, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. In exploring these intersections, we will engage migration and displacement/ dis-location as sociopolitical, economic, and spatial phenomena, particularly in relation to struggles defined around land and water, labor and livelihood, asylum/refugee, and terrorism/security. We will examine the nature of so-called ethnic (immigrant) practices and diaspora, as well as the interrelationships between ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ in the context of narration and transmission, internal and external cultural exchange, political resistance, and ‘multiculturalism.’ The course will also address the ways that ideas of global North and global South are claimed, defined and contested in this process.

Click here to check out some glimpses from this class.