This course explores the history of refugees in the twentieth century, with special attention to the U.S. and its engagement in the international arena of refugee politics. The course asks what historical and contemporary roles have refugees played during times of peace and conflict in the twentieth century? Students will examine how states, non-governmental organizations, private charities, and local communities have come together to address the questions of asylum, displacement, statelessness, and human rights. Students will study the causes of particular refugee movements and the reasons why the United States responded to or failed to respond to certain refugee cases. The course will introduce students to how the "problem" of refugees has been framed by, among others, historians and social scientists, policymakers, NGOs, local communities, social workers, and refugees themselves. In doing so, this course will explore how particular cases of refugees have shaped U.S. domestic policies and also the development of the United States and its role in international affairs.
1. Carl J. Bon Tempo, Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War (2008);
2. Additional reading assignments will be available for downloand on Canvas.
Assignments and Grading Breakdown:
20% Midterm Exam
15% First draft of research paper
35% Final draft of revised research paper
20% Weekly journal entries
10% Attendance and participation