Four courses. Four weeks abroad. One theme. One semester.
Think of DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted as Focus on steroids: a semester-long, research-based, student-faculty collaboration on a single theme–forced migration–plus a weekly dinner meeting and a four-week mid-semester field trip to work with refugees abroad.
Uprooted/Rerouted supported and understanding of the contemporary dynamics of displacement and the challenges it poses. It aimed to offer concrete research-based interventions to address both the causes and consequences of displacement. Duke students and faculty collaborated 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 addressed a single research question: how does displacement affect the well-being and the social identity of those displaced?
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?
Previous courses included
Global Migration and Ethics (Ethics/CulAnth.):
Field Ethics (Ethics):
Displacement and Global Health (Ethics/Global Health/CulAnth):
Refugee Policies and Practice (Ethics/ICS/PolSci):
Contact Professor Suzanne Shanahan with any additional questions.
DukeImmerse is a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.