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54100-01 - Seminar: On the Crossing of Invisible Boundaries: Northern African Perspectives on the Intangible Aspects of Migration 3 KP

Semester Frühjahrsemester 2019
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Amal Abdrabo
Inhalt : Human movement and migration have been always about statistics, numbers of mobilized people, and the amount of humanitarian aid. In contrast, the intangible aspects of the human movement receive little attention. North African countries are perceived as the gatekeepers of migration to Europe. This course is about the everyday practices that help creating a new sense of belonging, rebuilding a home, and shaping new identities in 'diasporic lands' with a special focus on North Africa. These practices can be studied through a myriad of cultural, economic, and social practices. The course will investigate various intangible aspects of migration both theoretically and practically.
Theoretically, we have to critically engage with the concept of area studies (African Studies / Near and Middle Eastern Studies) asking: What is Africa? How to locate North Africa within African Studies? Do area studies reproduce colonial divisions?
There is a tendency to exclude North African countries from African Studies and relate it to the Middle East under the political categorization of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), putting “white Africa", namely Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt, in a separated category. However, in reality, being African does not mean being 'black' and at the same time being 'Arab' is not a substitute for being 'African'. North African countries share the same colonial history, struggles, and independence, and they are physically located on the same continent with the rest of the African countries. Why then do we tend to treat North Africa as a tokenistic theme often on the margin of academic conferences, workshops, and writing?
Practically, with a special focus on North Africa and the Middle East, each student will to choose a case study from this region to present within the weekly sessions. In this practical section of the course, we will address different questions, among them: How migrants make sense of their everyday life practices while interacting with different tangible and intangible spaces? Can we identify a Syrian restaurant located in Alexandria as an economic practice of home rebuilding? What forms of hybrid cultures are being created? What about crossing linguistic borders; creating transnational identities; adopting a new accent; food practices, fashion and clothing styles?
Lernziele The theoretical section of the course conveys authentic knowledge in history, culture, and politics of North Africa while locating the region academically within the realm of African Studies. In the practical section students will explore the changing migration patterns in North Africa through practical case studies.
Literatur Benjamin, Walter. 1968. "Theses on the Philosophy of History". In: Illuminations. Hannah Arendt, ed. New York: Schocken Books, pp. 253-264.
Nora, Pierre. 1989. Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire Representations. Representations, No. 26, Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory. University of California Press. (Spring, 1989), pp. 7-24.
Seikaly, Sherene. 2013. "Return to the Present". In: Living Together: Jacques Derrida's Communities of Violence and Peace, by Elisabeth Weber (ed.), 227- 239. New York: Fordham University Press.


Unterrichtssprache Englisch
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Intervall Wochentag Zeit Raum

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Module Modul: Areas: Afrika (Master Studiengang: Europäische Geschichte in globaler Perspektive )
Modul: Fields: Governance and Politics (Master Studiengang: African Studies)
Modul: Migration, Mobility and Transnationalism (Master Studiengang: Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources )
Modul: Profil: Geschichte Afrikas (Master Studiengang: Europäische Geschichte (Studienbeginn vor 01.08.2018))
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Arbeit, Migration und Gesellschaft (Masterstudium: European Global Studies)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Zentrum für Afrikastudien