L802 Winter 2019 Human Migrations and Diasporas
Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Barbara Crain
Recently, environmental, economic, and political forces have caused massive shifts in population around the world. The United Nations reports that there are roughly 250 million migrants worldwide. The UN considers this “the largest humanitarian crisis” since its founding. What causes such major shifts in population? What conditions face these migrants and how do they adapt to the economies and cultures of their new homes? What is a diaspora, and how are diasporas different from other large migrations? This mini-course addresses these questions with a focus on three major population movements, both historical and current—the Romani, the Irish, and the Rohingya. A concluding session examines the complexities of the current refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East.
Barbara Crain holds an MA in geography from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and an MS in environmental science from Johns Hopkins University. She is an associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College. Her fascination with migration, be it animal or human, culminated in her interviewing recent migrants to Germany during a sabbatical in 2016.