Diasporas, Processes and Peoples
July 3-6, 2007
Instructors: Ashok Mathur (Thompson Rivers University)
Aruna Srivastava (University of Calgary)
Our contemporary world is defined by and founded on the movement of peoples: diaspora, migration, immigration — as well as histories of slavery, indentured labour, internment and nomadism. Colonialism neo-colonialism depended on the invasion and ‘settlement’ of lands and regions inhabited by indigenous peoples, who were often themselves ‘migrants’ and who were often, as a result of invasion, displaced and contained. This course will look at some particular movements of people: we will attempt to define what we mean by a ‘people’, a ‘nation’, a ‘community’, a ‘border,’ ‘indigeneity,’ as well as how the many and varied forms of movement of peoples are articulated and theorized in various art forms (literature, performance, film, video). We will also look at how particular state policies such as multiculturalism are predicated on understanding, normalizing and policing the movement of ‘other’ peoples. Students will be expected to become familiar with certain historical instances of movement, displacement or migration, and with theory and the background behind them. Before the session starts, we will ask that students watch several films and engage in some background reading. Students will come into the class with some working idea of terminology: people, movement, nation, diaspora, indigineity, migrancy, etc.
Because the record and documentation of diasporic processes is often most effectively done outside of standard academic models (social science or humanities), course material will include performance art/theory, other art practices (such as poetry), and the use of technology (web research, blogging, facebook) both for communication and coursework.
Pre-session (please read prior to first class):
Chariandy, David. “Postcolonial Diasporas.” Postcolonial Text, 2.1. (2006) http://postcolonial.org/index.php/pct/article/view/440/159
Park, Liz. “Limits of Tolerance: Re-framing Multicultural State Policy.” Centre A exhibition catalogue, 2007. (provided to students)
Course readings will include selections from:
Abdel-Shehid, Gamal. who da man? Black Masculinities and Sporting Cultures. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2005.
Gomez-Peña, Guillermo. Ethno-techno: Writings On Performance, Activism And Pedagogy (Routledge, 2005). http://www.pochanostra.com/ Selected Reading
Gopinath, Gayatri. Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2005.Selected Reading
Hall, Stuart, "Cultural Identity and Diaspora." In Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. Selected Reading
Hawley, John C. ed. Post-Colonial, Queer: Theoretical Intersections. New York: State U of New York P, 2005.Selected Reading
Miki, Roy. Redress: Inside the Japanese Canadian Call for Justice .Selected Reading
Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. New York: Zed Books, 2002.
Links and Resources
Topics for Consideration
Please also familiarize yourself with websites on diaspora and migration. In particular, dev-zone.org (a huge website which has a particulary good section on indigenous peoples and on globalization: click on “knowledge centre”), so that by the end of the course, you have research a “people” or a nation/region you have been entirely unfamiliar with. Let us know at the beginning of the course what research you have done so far and where your interests lie.Video/Film
Note: please watch three of these films before the course begins. You may also elect to watch other feature or documentary films that you feel are relevant to the course’s subject for one of your selections. You will find documentaries in many libraries, and in some video stores. UBC-O has purchased many of these films.
David Khang: "Wrong Place": An Experiment in Locational Identity (available at http://research.tru.ca/cicac/media/khang-cyprus.mov)
Darfur Diaries or Journey to Darfur
Earth (Deepa Mehta)
Kahnesetake: 500 Years of Resistance (or other films by Alanis Obomsawin)
Kainayssini Imanistaisiwa: The People Go On
Trail of Tears
Additional films by Jayce Salloum, Richard Fung, and others to be viewed in class.
Assignments and Evaluation:
• one seminar/oral presentation that will lead a class
One hour of facilitated discussion during the week. The student will present critical/theoretical issues and help lead discussion around the topic. • a journal
• significant participation.
Participation involves active listening, group activity, engaging with the ideas orally and through writing, and other forms of working with the instructors, peers, and course material.
• a final project equivalent to 10 pages
Final project is fairly open encouraging creative and reflective work.
• Daily reflective journalling of 300-500 words with concluding reflecting critical summary for the course (roughly 10 text-pages or blogging/facebook equivalent).
This journal is a reflection on original goals (the starting point of your knowledge about migration and diaspora, politics, cultures, literatures, art, film and history). How did your knowledge change through the seminar sessions and readings? The journal will be an opportunity for you to synthesize what you learned, and to trace your route through the course. What did you learn from the process of learning? You will also be providing evidence of your learning and research by creating an annotated bibliography of the sources you searched for and read throughout the term. This can be attached to your journal or submitted separately. The journal will include a detailed self-assessment of your progress throughout the course. Although the structure of this journal is largely up to you, update your journals daily so that you have four substantial reflective entries.
This is the research component of the work you are required to do. For all of the work we have asked you to read, or watch, as well as all of the sources, sites, films, etc. you go to yourself (and pay substantial attention to), prepare a citation for each one, with a paraphrase and an assessment of no more than 100 words for each. Use the citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago etc.) that you are most familiar with, but be consistent and correct in its use. The bibliography is a scholarly exercise, because presentation and format are important, and is distinct from the journal in which you may discuss and reflect personally on (for example) a film or article, but not evaluate or assess it in the way you would for a bibliography. There is lots of information about correct citation style on the web. Here are a couple of links, with examples:
Introduction to topics to be covered, questions to be raised. Investigation of terms and concepts. Discussion of pre-reading material and detailed descriptions of work to be accomplished, including grade breakdown, categories of assignments, nature of online or written work. Determination of seminar presentations.
Student presentations leading to discussion. Topics will include: creative practice as an expression of diasporic communities; changing political climates; racialization and ethnic identity.
Student presentations leading to discussion. Topics will include: time-based art (film, video, performance); globalization as an offshoot of diasporas; globalized indigeneities.
Student presentations leading to discussion. Topics will include: theory as practice; blurring boundaries between art/theory and political action; poplular movements and possible futures.