DukeImmerse: Uprooted/ Rerouted


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Understand the Global Refugee Crisis.

Uprooted/Rerouted explores the dynamics of the current crisis and the challenges it poses for refugees, host communities and international law. It aims to offer concrete research-based interventions to address both the causes and consequences of this crisis. Duke students and faculty collaborate both with refugee communities and international, national and local NGOs working with these communities. Working from a variety of methodological, theoretical, disciplinary and political perspectives, participants address a single research question: how does displacement affect the well-being and the social identity of those displaced?

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The Spring 2016 students traveled for their month of field research from mid-February to mid-March. Check their letters home for updates on their time collecting refugee narratives.


DukeImmerse:Uprooted/Rerouted students work together through a semester of four classes and with a month of field research abroad.

Uprooted/Rerouted in its first two years involved a systematic comparison of Bhutanese and Iraqi refugees, two of the three groups the U.S. State Department and Office of Homeland Security have specially targeted for resettlement, and the two fastest growing refugee populations in Durham and surrounding areas. In 2014, as part of the Bass Connections working group in Displacement, Resettlement and Global Mental Health, Syrian refugee populations were included as well.

The Bhutanese were expelled from Bhutan two decades ago, lived in poverty in refugee camps, are largely illiterate, mostly don’t speak English, mostly come from agricultural backgrounds, and tend to convert from Hinduism to Christianity just before or after resettlement. The Iraqis left only recently, spent little or no time in refugee camps, are solidly middle-class, highly educated professionals, speak fluent English, and don’t tend to convert. How do these factors affect the likelihood of successful resettlement?

Meet the 2016 Uprooted/Rerouted Students

Sanjidah Ahmed is a first-year student from Kansas. Her major is still undecided with her interests spanning from mental health to social justice to human rights. When she’s not thinking about what it means to be a Bangladeshi Muslim American feminist, she can be found reading, drinking chai, or going for walks.
Sanjeev Dasgupta is a sophomore from New Delhi, India studying Political Science. His interests include watching and playing soccer, photography, watching historical war movies, and kickboxing.
Callie Fry is a sophomore from North Carolina studying Public Policy. Her interests are backpacking through the Pisgah National Forest, running marathons, cooking gluten-free food, and traveling with her parents.
Logan Laguna-Kirkpatrick is a sophomore studying political science and international comparative studies. His interests include expanding the due process rights of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., investigating the evolution of Constitutional privacy litigation, and protecting legal status of stateless groups under the Refugee Convention.
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Reed McLaurin is a sophomore Public Policy major with a minor in Cultural Anthropology and a certificate in Ethics. He hails from Lufkin, Texas and enjoys playing both tennis and squash.
Julie Williams is a freshman from Tampa, Florida planning to major in Global Health and Public Policy. She enjoys singing, learning about different cultures, going to the beach with her family and friends, and eating cookie dough.




Immerse-photosSpring 2016 Courses

Global Migration and Ethics (Ethics/CulAnth/ICS):

An overview of current scholarship on the anthropology of global migration, and the key ethical predicaments at the center of contemporary forms of human mobility. Featuring an anthropological examination of current debates drawing on ethnographic texts, legal and policy materials, biography, literature and film.  Areas of Knowledge: SS. Modes of Inquiry: EI. Instructor: Laurie McIntosh.

Field Ethics (Ethics/Sociology):

An introduction to qualitative research design and analysis including interviewing, ethnography, focus groups as well as a a variety of visual methods, including mapping and photo elicitation. Emphasis on the ethics of research design, implementation, and presentation and ethics of research with vulnerable populations. Students will collect refugee life stories as the basis of a documentary theater production they will write and perform as their final project. Course may include field research in Jordan and Nepal.  Areas of Knowledge: SS, ALP. Modes of Inquiry: EI, R, W. Instructor: Daniel Alquist.

Arab Society in Culture and Film (AMES):

Examination of Arab worldviews (including cultural variations, artistic expressions, view about gender, and religion, and perspectives toward the U.S.). Explores the development of images of the Arab and seeks to understand them in the context of the Arab world as well as in its relationship to the West. Analyzes the dynamics between norms of modern civil society and those dictated by religious traditions. Critically examines current Western assumptions, representations and understanding of Arab societies, and the moral frameworks in which different choices are debated in the Arab context.Areas of Knowledge: ALP, CZ. Modes of Inquiry: CCI, EI. Instructor: Mbaye Lo.

Refugee Policy and Practice (Ethics/ICS/PolSci):

Uses current debates around refugee law and policy as the context in which to develop basic quantitative research design and analysis skills.  Course may include data collection  with resettled refugee locally and in Jordan and in Nepal.  Areas of Knowledge: SS. Modes of Inquiry: QS, CCI, EI. Instructor: Suzanne Shanahan.

Contact Professor Suzanne Shanahan with any additional questions.

DukeImmerse is a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.