History of the Program

DukeImmerse:De-Constructing/Re-Constructing emerged from a research project in the Bhutanese refugee camps of eastern Nepal, bringing together faculty and students from the Kenan Institute for Ethics to better understand implications of long term displacement and refugee well-being.

In 2012, the first DukeImmerse team, originally called Uprooted/Rerouted, systematically compared the displacement experiences of Bhutanese and Iraqi refugees, two of the three groups the U.S. State Department and Office of Homeland Security specially targeted for resettlement, and the two fastest growing refugee populations in Durham, North Carolina and surrounding areas. The team worked with Bhutanese refugees in the camps of Eastern Nepal and Iraqi refugees living in neighborhoods in Cairo. The team worked again in eastern Nepal and Cairo in 2013.

In 2014, as part of a Bass Connections working group in Displacement, Resettlement and Global Mental Health, Syrian refugee populations were also included with field sites in Jordan and Nepal. In 2016 and 2017, the team worked exclusively in Jordan to understand the impact of the Syrian crisis.

DukeImmerse:De-Constructing/Re-Constructing students work together with faculty as a team across a single semester and in four classes that include a month of field research abroad.

Spring 2017 Courses

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: Suzanne Shanahan.

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: Marcia Rego.

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.

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: Amber Pearson.

Contact Professor Suzanne Shanahan with any additional questions.

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