DukeImmerse: Uprooted/ Rerouted

Understand the Global Refugee Crisis.

Immerse-map-400-1Uprooted/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?

Students interested in applying for Spring 2016 should complete the application form and submit a letter of interest to Suzanne Shanahan by Wednesday, October 28.


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?


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.

Displacement and and Statelessness (Ethics/PubPol):

An overview of critical sociological perspectives of sovereignty and citizenship and of the persistent issues of displacement and statelessness that trouble both goals and notions of  ‘development.’ Featuring cases in the Global North and Global South, the course draws on political theory, current news, film, and contemporary policy materials. Areas of Knowledge: SS. Modes of Inquiry: CCI, EI. Instructor: Amanda Flaim.

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.