Postgraduate Course: Anthropology of Displacement and Migration (PGSP11457)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The Anthropology of Displacement and Migration explores major approaches to researching the wider field of human mobility, stretching from the forced movements of refugees into the world of labour migrants and political exiles. The course equips students with a critical understanding of human mobilities that reaches beyond public discourses and policy-oriented debates on 'migrants' and 'refugees'.
This course explores the fascinating field of human mobility. It does so by following the trajectories of several interlinked journeys: from the forced movements of refugees into the world of labour migrants, political exiles and immigrants. These diverse settings are explored from a shared perspective of mobility as a key concept that helps us to critically unpack debates around ┐refugees┐, ┐migrants┐ and other ┐moving┐ people. Combining a close examination of concrete research with discussions of theoretical approaches, the course will improve students┐ understanding of the anthropology of mobility, displacement and migration in theory and practice. Rather than thinking within predetermined policy fields, such as immigration or displacement, the course is critical towards these labels and policy metaphors and explores important analytical alternatives.
The course entails a weekly two-hour session divided into a lecture and participative group work, and a weekly one-hour seminar for close discussion of key readings.
Students read the Key Readings for discussion at the compulsory weekly seminar. Essential Readings enable students to develop a thorough understanding of the topic, and students are encouraged to read the Essential Readings for every session. Further Readings help students to explore the wider literature on their preferred topics; students are not expected to read all the references every week, but must demonstrate that they have read many, if not all, of the suggested readings for their essay topic.
Students will be assessed via two pieces of coursework: a mid-term short formative essay and an end-term longer summative essay in the form of a discursive anthropological essay, requiring students to engage with the relevant bodies of anthropological literature in order to delve into one or more of the course themes in more depth.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Mid-term short essay chosen from a set of questions relating to one or more of the weekly course topics (1,500 words, 30%)
End-term long essay chosen from a set of questions relating to one or more of the weekly course topics (3,000 words, 60%)
Participation: seminar attendance, contributions and presentations, and submission of short (200-400 word) reflections on weekly discussion readings (10%)
||Individual essays will be returned with written feedback within 15 working days of submission. Students will receive general verbal feedback on the mid-term essay during a feedback event in class. Students will be encouraged to use office hours to seek individual verbal feedback and to discuss plans for end-term long essay.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate detailed knowledge and advanced critical understanding of specialised theories, concepts and principles in the history and forefront of anthropology of displacement, migration and mobility studies
- Critically evaluate different theoretical and conceptual approaches to studying displacement and migration in comparison.
- Develop original and creative responses by applying insights from anthropology of displacement and migration studies to related development and human rights issues.
- Engage constructively with others during class debates and online discussions, and exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in individual assessment activities.
- Effectively communicate their extensive, detailed, and critical knowledge of complex debates in the anthropology of displacement and migration studies in discursive essays.
|Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago. |
Betts, A., & Collier, P. (2017). Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System. London: Allen Lane.
Betts, A., Bloom, L., Kaplan, J., & Omata, N. (2016). Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Coutin, S. B. (2007). Nations of Emigrants: Shifting Boundaries of Citizenship in El Salvador and the United States. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Retrieved from
Cresswell, T. (2006). On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World. Taylor & Francis.
Fiddian-qasmiyeh, E., Loescher, G., Long, K., Sigona, N., Long, K., & Sigona, N. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199652433.001.0001
Hackl, A. (2018). Mobility equity in a globalized world: Reducing inequalities in the sustainable development agenda. World Development, 112, 150┐162.
Hackl, A., Schwarz, J. S., Gutekunst, M., & Leoncini, S. (2016). Bounded Mobilities: Ethnographic Perspectives on Social Hierarchies and Global Inequalities. Berlin: Transcript.
Khalaf, A., AlShehabi, O., & Hanieh, A. (2014). Transit States: Labour, Migration and Citizenship in the Gulf. London: Pluto Press.
Malkki, L. H. (1995). Refugees and Exile: From ┐Refugee Studies┐ to the National Order of Things. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24(1), 493┐523. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.24.1.493
Salazar, N. B. (2017). Key figures of mobility: an introduction. In Social Anthropology(Vol. 25, pp. 5┐12). https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.12393 (see individual articles in this issue for different ┐key figures┐)
Salazar, N. B., & Glick Schiller, N. (2014). Regimes of mobility: Imaginaries and relationalities of power. London and New York: Routledge.
Saunders, D. (2011). Arrival city: How the largest migration in history is reshaping our world. New York: Vintage Books.
Urry, J. 2007. Mobilities. Cambridge, [England] ; Malden, MA: Polity.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course and its assessments will equip students to take an anthropological approach to understanding the socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic implications of displacement, migration, and associated development and human rights issues. Students will be able to:
Use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views.
Make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.
Seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness.
Transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another.
|Course organiser||Mr Andreas Hackl
Tel: (0131 6)51 5357
|Course secretary||Mr Jack Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485