Cultivating a Global Perspective through Refugee Narratives

Michael T. MacDonald

Abstract


The intention of this assignment is to use stories of refugee experience to cultivate a global perspective in the classroom. The final project of an intermediate college writing course (sophomore and junior level), this assignment asked students to research a topic related to refugee resettlement, apply ideas from course readings to that topic, and reflect on their own perspectives as readers and writers. This writing took the form of a textual analysis essay that combined primary and secondary sources grounded in library research. An emphasis on close-reading and rhetorical analysis provided students with strategies for moving between different modes of literacy (i.e. storytelling, theory, and reflection). The assignment was scaffolded throughout the semester by diverse readings that included memoir, journalist accounts, and scholarship in refugee studies. Although cultivating a global perspective with students was a central learning outcome of this assignment, the term proved difficult to define. This essay discusses how working with student writing provided some clarity on what a global perspective can mean.

Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Barnett, M., & Weiss, T. G. (2008). Humanitarianism: A brief history of the present. In M. Barnett & T. G. Weiss (Eds.), Humanitarianism in Question: Politics, Power, Ethics (pp. 1–49). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Boltanski, L. (1999). Distant suffering: Morality, media and politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Chouliaraki, L. (2006). The spectatorship of suffering. London, UK: Sage Publications.

Cole, T. (2012). The white-savior industrial complex. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/

Eggers, D. (2007). What is the what. New York: Vintage.

Eggers, D. (2010). Zeitoun (Reprint edition). New York: Vintage.

Ferguson, J. (2007). Global shadows: Africa in the neoliberal world order. Durham N.C.: Duke University Press.

Gallop, J. (2000). The ethics of reading: Close encounters. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 16(3), 7–17.

Hauser, G. A. (2002). Introduction to rhetorical theory (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Jal, E. (2009). War child: A child soldier’s story. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Jurecic, A. (2011). Empathy and the critic. College English, 74(1), 10–27.

MacDonald, M. T. (2015). Emissaries of literacy: Representations of sponsorship and refugee experience in the stories of the lost boys of sudan. College English, 77(5), 408–428.

Malkki, L. H. (1996). Speechless emissaries: Refugees, humanitarianism, and dehistoricization. Cultural Anthropology, 11(3), 377–404.

Mehta, S. (2011). The asylum seeker. The New Yorker. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/08/01/the-asylum-seeker

Moynagh, M. (2011). Human rights, child-soldier narratives, and the problem of form. Research in African Literatures, 42(4), 39–59. http://doi.org/10.2979/reseafrilite.42.4.39

Ong, A. (2006). Neoliberalism as exception: Mutations in citizenship and sovereignty. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Rosen, D. M. (2007). Child soldiers, international humanitarian law, and the globalization of childhood. American Anthropologist, 109(2), 296–306. http://doi.org/10.1525/AA.2007.109.2.296

St. John, W. (2009). Outcasts united: An American town, a refugee team, and one woman’s quest to make a difference. New York, NY: Spiegel & Grau.

Trinh, T. (2004). Not you/like you: Post-colonial women and the interlocking questions of identity and difference. In S. K. Foss, K. A. Foss, & C. L. Griffin (Eds.), Readings in feminist rhetorical theory (pp. 215–219). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31719/pjaw.v2i2.27

Copyright (c) 2018 Michael T. MacDonald

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.