Explore the diversity of movements of people and the mechanisms that prevent people from moving.

Why do people move? Who gets to move and who is prevented from doing so? What are the cultural, political and economic implications of people on the move? This Pathway explores different types of migrations: voluntary or forced migrations (migrants, displaced persons, refugees, stateless people).

This Pathway will bring together critical theoretical perspectives and case studies from the social sciences, humanities, arts and sciences. We will look at how these perspectives contribute to our understanding of global migrations and personal migration experiences. We will also examine the artistic and literary productions of those on the move and those who are already members of established migrant communities or diasporas.

While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples include:

  • Could a borderless world exist?
  • How do migrations and racism intersect?
  • Are cities becoming the new refugee camps?
  • Do natural disasters trigger migrations and displacements?
  • Is world history a story of human migrations?
  • Is there such a genre as migrant literature?
  • Where do art and migration meet?

Thematic Inquiry

The Thematic Inquiry course will introduce theories of migration, case studies, film screenings and discussions, and online artistic debates. The course will be taught by the Pathway coordinator and will include numerous guest lectures by core Pathway faculty, other Connecticut College faculty and guest experts.

Global/Local Engagement

Students will have the opportunity to study abroad, to complete related internships and to work with local partner organizations.

The School for International Training (SIT) offers three study away programs that focus on migration and refugee issues: Migration, Borders, and Transnational Communities (Mexico), Migration and Transnational Identity (Morocco and the Netherlands), and New African Diasporas: Transnational Communities, Culture and Economies (multi-sited program taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as in Senegal, Italy, and France).

Additionally, the coordinator of the MDI Pathway is currently proposing a SATA Program in French Guiana, where 40 percent of the population is of foreign origin. The University of Guyane opened an English department that would facilitate the inclusion of non-French-speaking students. This SATA program would focus on issues related to migrations as well as environmental questions.

Students will be encouraged to pursue an internship with an NGO or humanitarian organization, like the Red Cross or Amnesty International; refugee camps; immigrant rights organizations; or nonprofit human rights organizations. Students will be prepared to undertake these internships on an ethical level after taking the Thematic Inquiry course.

Connecticut College also partners with Start Fresh in New London, an organization that focuses on refugee resettlement. The Office of Community Partnerships and the Refugee Relief and Education Committee (RREC) regularly work with Start Fresh, and RREC is in the process of establishing a directory of immigrant cultural and social organizations in New London and connecting them with Start Fresh and our student body. RREC also works with the Paper Airplanes organization to connect Connecticut College students with refugee students all over the world.

Senior Reflection

The Senior Reflection will be a one-credit seminar, in which students will use an e-portfolio to reflect on their work in the Pathway and to prepare for the All-College Symposium. Questions to be addressed by the students include:

  • How did my animating question inform my curricular itinerary, my Global/Local Engagement experience?
  • Did my Pathway experience turn out the way I anticipated? How was it different? How did I become a more global citizen?
  • How did the Pathway intersect with my major?
  • How did the Curricular Itinerary help me in answering my animating question?
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