Emerging Media and Migrant Identity

[PDF version of syllabus]
Course Description.

This graduate seminar revolves around mediating migrant identity, how contemporary media facilitates a transitory and kinetic instances of subject formation. The seminar has a dual focus on the media of migration (diasporic film; experimental documentary; social media about 21st century “migration crisis”) and the migration of media (circulation of content, cross-platform adaptations; data bodies). Though primarily focused on contemporary case studies and current scholarly writings, we will discuss the process of transnational migration across different historical timeframes, including transatlantic slavery, colonialism, and globalization. We investigate a broad range of approaches and engage with leading theoretical and methodological paradigms within the field of emerging media studies. The broader goal of the course is to gain understanding and critical assessment of interdisciplinary modes of transnational research into emerging media.

Course Objectives.
  • Understand key issues and crucial connections between emerging media and identity.
  • Articulate theoretical arguments succinctly and facilitate thoughtful discussions.
  • Critically analyze scholarly texts by being able to situate these within a tradition of theoretical thinking and explain their contributions to the field.
  • Translate intellectual ideas about media and migration into community-facing projects for non-academic publics.

Week 1 – The Migrant Image

  • Gloria Anzaldúa, “Towards a New Consciousness,” in Borderlands/La Frontera (Aunt Lute Books, 1987): 77-91.
  • T.J. Demos, “Check-In: A Prelude,” and “Destination: The Politics of Aesthetics during Global Crisis,” in The Migrant Image (Duke University Press, 2013): xiii-xxiii, 245-250.
  • Thomas Nail, “The Migrant Image” in Handbook of Art and Global Migration (Gruyter, Walter de GmbH, 2019): 54-69.
  • Pooja Rangan, “Introduction: Immediations,” Immediations: The Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary (Duke University Press, 2018): 1-22.

Week 2 [Holiday]

Week 3 – Orientations

  • Sara Ahmed, “The Orient and Other Others,” in Queer Phenomenology (Duke University Press, 2006): 109-156.
  • Feng-Mei Heberer, “How does it Feel to be Foreign?” in The Autobiographical Turn in Germanophone Documentary and Experimental Film (Camden House, 2014): 111-136.
  • Eszter Zimanyi and Emma Ben Ayoun, “On Bodily Absence in Humanitarian Multi-Sensory VR,” in Intermediality: History and Theory of the Arts, Literature and Technologies [forthcoming]
  • Macarena Gomez-Barris, “Migration, Militarism, and Trans-feminist Critique,” Beyond the Pink Tide: Art and Political Undercurrents in the Americas (UC Press, 2018): 68-87.
  • Nuoc (Water/ Homeland) (Quyên Nguyen-Le, 2016)

Week 4 – Bodies in Transit

  • Jasbir Puar, “Preface: Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” in The Right to Maim (Duke University Press, 2017): ix-xxiv.
  • Aren Z. Aizura, “Documentary and the Metronormative Trans Migration Plot,” in Mobile Subjects: Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment (Duke University Press, 2018): 103-134.
  • Ana Cristina Mendes, “Indie Crowdfunded Narratives of Commercial Surrogacy, or the Contested Bodies of Neoliberalism,” in Indian Cinema Beyond Bollywood: The New Independent Cinema Revolution, edited By Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram (Routledge, 2019): 78-99.
  • Kate Moffat, “Bodies in Transition: Somatechnics and the Experimental Art of Liselotte Wajstedt’s Sámi Nieida Jojk (Sámi Daughter Yoik, 2007)” Somatechnics 8.1 (2018): 48-63.
  • Estructura Completa (David Pérez Karmadavis, 2010)

Week 5 – Pro(file)ings

  • Simone Browne, “Digital Epidermalization: Race, Identity, and Biometrics,” Critical Sociology 36.1 (2010): 131-150.
  • I. Z. Plájás, A. M’charek, and H. van Baar, “Knowing ‘the Roma’: Visual Technologies of Sorting Populations and the Policing of Mobility in Europe,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 37.4 (2019): 589–605.
  • Andrew Shield, “New in Town: Gay Immigrants and Geosocial Dating Apps,” LGBTQs, Media and Culture in Europe, edited by Alexander Dhoest, Lukasz Szulc, Bart Eeckhout (Routledge, 2017): 244-261.
  • Roopika Risam, “Now You See Them: Self-representation and the Refugee Selfie,” Popular Communication 16:1 (2018): 58-71.
  • Papers, Please (Lucas Pope, 2013)

Week 6 – Sound Publics

  • Alex E. Chávez, “American Border/lands,” in Sounds of Crossing (Duke University Press, 2017): 1-34.
  • Ronak K. Kapadia, “Sonic Contagions: Bird Flu, Bandung, and the Queer Cartographies of MIA,” Journal of Popular Music Studies 26.3 (2014): 226–250.
  • Dolores Inés Casillas, “Sounds of Surveillance: U.S. Spanish-Language Radio Patrols La Migra,” Sounds of Belonging (NYU Press, 2014): 83-100.
  • Sarah Florini, “The Podcast ‘Chitlin’ Circuit’: Black Podcasters, Alternative Media, and Audio Enclaves,” Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 22:2 (2015): 209-219.
  • Caminata Nocturna (Radio Ambulante, 2014) or No Place Like Home (This American Life, 2014)

Week 7 – Makers

  • Carlos Jiménez, “Antenna Dilemmas: The Rise of an Indigenous-Language Low-Power Radio Station in Southern California,” Journal of Radio & Audio Media 26.2 (2019): 247-269.
  • Daniela K. Rosner, “Making Citizens, Reassembling Devices: On Gender and the Development of Contemporary Public Sites of Repair in Northern California,” Public Culture 26.1 (2014): 51-77.
  • Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, “The Transborder Immigrant Tool: Violence, Solidarity and Hope in Post-NAFTA Circuits of Bodies Electr(on)/ic,” Mobile HCI (September 15 – 18, 2009)
  • Out of Place: Stories from Syrian Families (www.outofplaceresearch.com)

Week 8 – Public Humanities

  • Arjun Appadurai, “The Capacity to Aspire,” in Culture and Public Action, edited by Vijayendra Rao and Michael Walton (Stanford University Press, 2004): 59-84.
  • Tania Lizarazo, Elisa Oceguera, David Tenorio, Diana Pardo Pedraza, and Robert McKee Irwin, “Ethics, Collaboration, and Knowledge Production: Digital Storytelling with Sexually Diverse Farmworkers in California,” Lateral 6.1 (2017)
  • With(in) podcast (www.thisiswithin.com)

Week 9 – Mapping

  • Aimi Hamraie, “Mapping Access: Digital Humanities, Disability Justice, and Sociospatial Practice,” American Quarterly 70.3 (2018): 455-482.
  • Ying Xu, Carleen Maitland, Brian Tomaszewski, “Promoting Participatory Community Building in Refugee Camps with Mapping Technology,” ICTD’15 (May 15 – 18, 2015)
  • Clayton Aldern, “Cartographers Without Borders,” Logic #3
    Torn Apart / Separados, Vol 1 & 2 (https://xpmethod.plaintext.in/torn-apart)
  • Mapping Indigenous LA (www.mila.ss.ucla.edu)
  • Forensic Oceanography (www.forensic-architecture.org/investigation/the-left-to-die-boat)

Week 10 – Futurities

  • Alexis Shotwell, “Complexity and Complicity: An Introduction to Constitutive Impurity,” Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2016): 1-19.
  • Bhaskar Sarkar, “On no man’s (Is)land: Futurities at the Border,” Transnational Cinemas 9, no. 1 (2018): 47-67.
  • Aimee Bangh, “The Cruel Optimism of the Asian Century,” in Migrant Futurities: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times (Duke University Press, 2018): 119-145.
  • Brianna Burke, “Beasts of the Southern Wild and Indigenous Communities in the Age of the Sixth Extinction,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 6.1 (Winter 2019): 61-85.

Week 11 – Academia

  • Gayatri Spivak, “Teaching for the Times,” in An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard University Press, 2013): 137-157.
  • Masha Salazkina, “Film Theory in the Age of Neoliberal Globalization,” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 56.2 (Fall 2015): 325-349.
  • Sara Ahmed, “Brick Walls,” Living a Feminsit Life (Duke University Press, 2017): 135-160.
  • Gracia Liu-Farrer, “International Student Mobilities in East Asia,” global-e (November 21, 2019)

Week 12: Draft of major paper due.

Week 13: Major paper feedback sessions.

Week 14: In-class workshops of Public Humanities projects.

Week 15: Course Wrap-up.