Immigrant America Online

Imagine you’re a refugee fleeing the country. You arrive home from school, and your parents tell you your family will leave tonight. What will you put in your suitcase? What difficulties do you think you will have? The United Nations estimates that almost 100 million people are displaced worldwide. In the United States, nearly one in four people is an immigrant or child of immigrants. This class introduces students to interdisciplinary approaches to studying global migration, focusing on the United States. In this class, we will ask:

  • What would a world without borders look like?
  • How does the US prioritize groups seeking entry to the United States?
  • For instance, how does the US define and decide the number of refugees, family members, economic migrants, or skilled workers to enter the US?
  • What are the diverse experiences of first, second, and third-generation migrants?
  • Why is the US historically considered a nation of immigrants?

This class will highlight the voices and perspectives of refugees and immigrants by critically reading memoirs, graphic novels, art, and scholarly works. You will learn new research and analytic skills, including participating in community-based research for a local organization serving immigrants and refugees. You will work on an asylum case for an Afghan or Central American asylum seeker. At the same time, you will analyze documents from various sources, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, United Nations, and other sources, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Course Schedule

This course will be offered online from July 17 - 28, 2023. Students must be online for class sessions from 11:00am - 1:00pm and 3:30pm - 5:30pm (Eastern Standard Time), Monday-Friday. Students should also plan to manage their time to complete homework assignments and group work outside of the designated class times. 

Academic Director

Jennifer Huynh

Jennifer Huynh

Jennifer A. Huynh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her broad research interests include Critical Refugee Studies, US Immigration, and Asian American Studies. She received her doctorate in 2016 from Princeton University in Sociology and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Previously she was a lecturer in the Asian American Studies Department at Northwestern University. Her most recent article examines the experiences of unaccompanied Central American minors in US immigration court. She is currently working on her book manuscript that focuses on Vietnamese refugees in Southern California's Little Saigon and suburban gentrification. She has published articles in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Studies in Ethnicity & Nationalism, and Asian American Journal of Psychology.