Lecture Videos: Migration, Refugees & the Politics of Sanctuary

With an eye firmly on the contemporary debate about Sanctuary, this course examines the history and activism of movements and communities that offer protections and rights for refugees, migrants, and precarious residents. The topics covered in the seminar include settler colonialism, citizenship, climate change, policing, militarism, ethnic and religious cleansing, gender regulation, labor exploitation, media infrastructure, healthcare provision, and the role of universities as speech centers and safe havens. The course will also offer resources for practicing the politics of sanctuary. 

 

The Sanctuary Syllabus can be found at Public Books here. This course reflects the realization of the Sanctuary Syllabus through a series of lectures, interactive activities, and collaborative group projects. Participating lecturers will include as many as twenty-five well-known NYU faculty, and there will also be guest appearances from advocates and activists across related social justice movements. This page will be updated weekly with lecture videos and course readings.

All filming and editing done by Vicente Cueto, NYU Urban Democracy Lab.

Schedule:

  1. 1/24: “Sanctuary Now!”: Historical and Contemporary Movements for Sanctuary – Instructors: Alina Das (Law) and Andrew Ross (SCA)
  2. 1/31: “No War, No Borders: Why we Need Sanctuary – Instructors: Monica Kim (History), Molly Nolan (History), and Sarah Sklaw (History)
  3. 2/7: Environmental Crises and Climate Refugees – Instructors: Julie Livingston (SCA/History), Andrew Ross (SCA), and Sonya Posmentier (English)
  4. 2/14:  “No Bands on Stolen Lands: Dispossession, Migration, and Settler Colonialism- Instructors: Dean Saranillio (SCA), Liz Ellis (History), and Rachel Kuo (MCC)
  5. 2/21: “No Person is Illegal”: Constructions of Citizenship – Instructors: Cristina Beltran (SCA/Politics), Christine Harrington (Politics/Law)
  6. 2/28: “Sin DACA, Sin Miedo”: Living and Being Undocumented – Instructors: Tao Goffe (SCA) and Diana Taylor (Performance Studies)
  7. 3/7: “#MuslimBan”: Geopolitics and Everyday Life – Instructors: Sinan Antoon (Gallatin) and Mohamad Bazzi (Journalism)
  8. 3/21: “No Raids, No Broken Windows”: Police Violence – Instructors: Nikhil Singh, SCA/ History and Sara Pursley, Middle Eastern Studies
  9. 3/28: “No Ban, No Wall, Healthcare for All” – Instructors: Babak Tofighi (Medical School) and Shivani Srivastav (Medical School)
  10. 4/4“Don’t Deport My Mom”: Regulating Intimacy, Family, and Reproduction – Instructors: Crystal Parikh (English/SCA) and Cecilia Marquez (SCA)
  11. 4/11: Immigrant Justice in a Fake News World: Media as Structure, Media as Tools – Instructors: Arun Kundnani (MCC) and Yoav Halperin (MCC)
  12. 4/18:Si Se Puede!” Migrants and Workers – Instructors: Natasha Iskandar (Wagner) and Paula Chakravartty (MCC/Gallatin)
  13. 4/25: Decolonizing the University: Dissent and the Right – Instructors: Fred Moten (Performance Studies) and Asli Igsiz (Middle Eastern Studies)
  14. 5/2: “Sanctuary is Solidarity”: Resources for Building and Practicing Sanctuary – Instructors: Gianpaolo Baiocchi (Gallatin/Sociology) and Vasuki Nesiah (Gallatin) 

Week 1: “Sanctuary Now!”: Historical and Contemporary Movements for Sanctuary


Andrew Ross, NYU Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis


Alina Das, NYU Professor of Clinical Law, Immigrant Rights Initiative

Readings:

Multimedia and Storytelling:

  • Immigrant Nation!: The Battle for the Dream, directed by Esaú Meléndez (2010).

Tools and Policies:


Week 2: “No Wars, No Borders”: Why We Need Sanctuary


Molly Nolan, NYU Professor of History


Monica Kim, NYU Assistant Professor of History


Sarah Sklaw, PhD Student, NYU Department of History

Readings:

  • Hannah Arendt, “We, Refugees,” and Edward Said, “Reflections on Exile,” in Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile, edited by Marc Robinson (Harvest, 1996).
  • Didier Fassin, “From Right to Favor,” The Nation, April 5, 2016.
  • Anna Holian and G. Daniel Cohen, eds., “The Refugee in the Postwar World, 1945–1960,” special issue, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 25, no. 3 (September 2012).
  • Mimi Thi Nguyen, The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Duke University Press, 2012).

Multimedia and Storytelling:

Tools and Policies:

  • United Nations High Commission for Refugees, “Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2016” (2017).
  • Neta C. Crawford, Catherine Lutz, and Stephanie Savell, project directors, “Costs of War,” Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, Brown University (2011–2017).

Week 3: Environmental Crises and Climate Refugees


Sonya Posmentier, NYU Assistant Professor of English


Andrew Ross, NYU Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis


Julie Livingston, NYU Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History
(Video edited by Amy Pelch).

Readings:

Multimedia and Storytelling:

  • Bessie Smith, Back-Water Blues. 1927. Columbia 14195-D
  • Bessie Smith, Homeless Blues. 1927. Columbia 14260-D
  • Brown, Sterling A. “Ma Rainey.” In The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown, edited by Michael S. Harper, 62–63. Evanston, Illinois: Triquarterly Books, 1996
  • Climate Refugees, directed by Michael Nash (2010).

Tools and Policies: