We tend to think of borders as fixed lines that divide an “us” from a “them.” In this class, we will challenge ourselves to think about borderlands as a concept that transcends physical borders between nation-states. Our primary text will be Gloria Anzaldúa’s book (Borderlands/La Frontera), which we will complement with podcasts and movie screenings (such as Everything is Illuminated). What difference do borders make between an “us” and a “them”? How does living in the borderlands shape our negotiations of language, culture, and citizenship? We will address these questions through the case studies of borderlands including US-Mexico, Guatemala-Belize, Kurdistan, as well as broader topics like diaspora (far-flung communities connected by their relationship to a homeland) and transnational travels.
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