Migration, Movement, Mobility ("Topics in Comparative History")

New course in Fall 2006, Research Seminar: History 8990
Tuesdays, 3:30-5:20 p.m.
For more information and permission to enroll: Donna R. Gabaccia, Professor of History and Director, Immigration History Research Center (drg@umn.edu)

The objects of scholarly study are not always sedentary; nor do they always stay fixed in a single place. Thoughts, ideas, commodities, and cultural productions may travel with—or independently of—mobile people. Finding the appropriate body of theory, terminology, and methods for the study of people and ideas “on the move,? remains a large challenge to scholars across many disciplines.

The purpose of this research seminar is to give students in the humanities and social sciences the opportunity to undertake carefully focused research projects while developing cross-disciplinary conversations about their methodological, theoretical or interpretive choices, about their sources, texts, or data, and about the scholarly genres preferred by differing disciplines for interpreting, writing and communicating about research. Students who are developing research projects about any aspect of mobility will be welcome, regardless of geographical or chronological expertise, and whether focused on mobile people or mobile ideas or cultures. Possible research topics might include (but are not limited to) tourists or tourism, travelers or travelers’ writings; merchants or pilgrims; human rights, cosmopolitanism or internationalism; im/em/migrants; nomadism; transnational families, ideas or networks; empires or border-crossing; slave trades or trafficking; merchants, businessmen, and trade; diasporas, ideo-scapes or ethno-scapes; globalization, past or present; everyday mobility or residential choice; transportation; refugees, asylum, banishment or exile.