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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

People from Somewhere, People from Nowhere: Global Migration and the Politics of Immigration

Instructor(s): Matthew Hockenos, History

Are walls and fences the answer to the flood of migrants seeking security from war, environmental catastrophe, and economic destitution? Do wealthier nations have an obligation to open their borders to refugees and the impoverished? Migration is as old as human history. But what makes migration such a pressing issue in the twenty-first century is that more people than ever before are on the move—nearly 300 million. While many people migrate out of choice, many others are forcibly displaced. Globally, there are about  80 million forcibly displaced people including refugees, internally displaced persons, and asylum seekers  who have fled their homes to escape violence, conflict, and persecution. Students will explore the factors that spur migration; the nature of the journey from home country to host country; the reactions of people in host countries to the influx of migrants; and what a nation’s immigration policy tell us about citizenship and belonging? Particular attention is given to the voices of migrants themselves and their personal story of flight from their homeland and arrival in a foreign land.

Course Offered: