Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

E 142 Reading Without Borders

Overview of Course

This course focuses on movements, migrations, and crossings, desired or forced, seen through a historical, literary, musical, and cinematic lens. Together, we will contemplate narrations about borders, their origins and raison d’être today, starting with the 1955 Bandung Conference of non-aligned nations to imagine a different world map. Crossing oceans and reading about the places around us will lead us to consider its antithesis, a borderless world. We will examine the way in which artists narrate and film displacements and migrations while dealing with identity issues and trauma related to displacement. We will examine how, to establish a cartography of human movements and imagine new spaces of functioning and new ways to look at reconstructed communities, these artists tell stories. In each of the ports of call and places we will visit, we will collect objects that make us think of borders or lack thereof. One of the grades (part of the final project***), will be based on the creation of a collective patchwork of objects exhibited for the community to discuss, and on which to reflect.
The course will be discussion-based. Students will work in pairs and groups, discussing and analyzing the works studied. Coursework includes presentations, response papers, journaling and a final project to be discussed and determined in class by each group.

Writers, filmmakers, personalities and regions: Indonesia; Vietnam-Canada: Kim Thuy; India: Prajwal Parajuly: Mauritius: Shenaz Patel or Caroline Laurent; South Africa: Mariam Makeba- Mandela; Ghana: Nkrumah; Morocco: Mahi Binebine; Spain: Luis Cernuda