This class examines contemporary authors’ engagement with forced migration, with an emphasis on three highly-acclaimed texts—Dave Eggers’ "What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng" (2006), Viet Thanh Nguyen’s "The Refugees" (2017), and Valeria Luiselli’s "Lost Children Archive" (2019). How are refugees represented in contemporary US narratives? How do literary authors dismantle stereotypical depictions of forced migration in their work? Can fiction writers challenge the power structures that block the movement of today’s refugees or do their narratives reinforce and erase these? And what can we learn about becoming witnesses of today's mass displacements from their work?
Instructor: Alexandra Magearu is a writer, editor, and literary scholar. She was born in Romania and she is currently based in Cleveland, Ohio. Her writing has been published in The Comparatist and two philosophy book collections, Ecosophical Aesthetics: Art, Ethics and Ecology with Guattari and Phenomenology of the Broken Body. She was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies for her literary scholarship.
Details: Refugee Narratives takes place Saturdays March 20, April 17, and May 15 from 10:00am-12:00pm remotely through Zoom.