Summer 2005

SOCS 642
"Undesirable Otherness:" Cinematic Representations of Immigration in the European Union


06/27/2005 - 07/15/2005
Monday-Thursday 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Fisk Hall 404

The course examines cinematic representations of immigration, xenophobia, and racism towards ethnic and racial minorities in the social context of the European Union, exploring topics such as social policies towards immigrants and refugees, criminalization of immigration, integration versus assimilation, and the correlation between xenophobia/racism and political or economic nationalism. It focuses on the role of cinema as a cultural and ideological apparatus representing the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class. It uses a selection of recent European films as well as sociological, cultural, and theoretical texts.

Required readings include Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities; Julia Kristeva, Strangers to Ourselves; and a source book with selected theoretical and sociological readings.

In addition, we will view the following films: Udayvan Prasad, Brothers in Trouble (1996); Rainer M. Fassbinder, Angst essen seele auf/Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974); Montxo Armendariz, Las cartas de Alou /Letters from Alou (1990); Llorenc Soler, Said (1999); Mathieu Kassovitz, La Haine/Hatred (1996); Jean-Pierre y Luc Dardenne, La promesse/The promise (1996); Iciar Bollain, Flores de otro mundo/Flowers from Another World (1999); Claire Denis, J'ai pas sommeil/I Can't Sleep (1994); and Kutlug Ataman, Lola und Bilidikid/Lola and Billy the Kid (1999).

Course requirements include viewing films outside of class (online or at arranged screening times, tba), active participation in class discussions, an oral presentation on assigned topics or readings, a midterm paper, and a final paper.

The class will meet on Friday, July 8 to make up for the July 4th celebration of Independence Day.

This course may, if appropriate to the student's work, count by petition toward the arts concentration.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Isolina Ballesteros (B.A. University of Zaragoza, Spain, Ph.D. Boston University) teaches at Vassar College. She is author of Escritura femenina y discurso autobiografico en la nueva novela espanola [Feminine Writing and Autobiographical Discourse in the New Spanish Novel] (1994), and Cine (ins)urgente: Textos filmicos y contextos culturales de la Espana posfranquista [(Ins)urgent Cinema: Filmic Texts and Cultural Contexts of Post-Franco Spain] (2001). [She was visiting associate professor of romance languages and literatures at Wesleyan, 2003-2005.]


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

PLEASE NOTE: A course packet will be available for purchase at Pip Printing, 179 Main Street, Middletown, (860) 344-9001.

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