This class examines contemporary authors’ engagement with forced migration, with an emphasis on three highly-acclaimed texts—Dave Eggers’ "What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng" (2006), Viet Thanh Nguyen’s "The Refugees" (2017), and Valeria Luiselli’s "Lost Children Archive" (2019). How are refugees represented in contemporary US narratives? How do literary authors dismantle stereotypical depictions of forced migration in their work? Can fiction writers challenge the power structures that block the movement of today’s refugees or do their narratives reinforce and erase these? And what can we learn about becoming witnesses of today's mass displacements from their work?
This class takes place remotely online via Zoom. Register to receive the zoom link and class instructions.
Alexandra Magearu was born and raised in Romania, and she moved to the United States in 2011 to complete her doctoral studies in postcolonial theory and literature. Her writing has been published in Tint Journal, World Literature Today, Women’s Studies, The Comparatist, and more. She has been actively involved with immigration advocacy in the Cleveland area, and she works as a mentor coordinator for The Refugee Response.