2019 – Fall: Reported Essay: Writing About Immigration

Day & Time: Wednesday, 4:00pm-7:00pm

Location: Room 700 - Library

Course ID: JOUR-GA 1082.006

Instructor: Suketu Mehta

People are moving around the planet like never before. If all of today’s immigrants were a nation, they would be the fourth-largest country in the world. Mass migration is the defining human phenomenon of the twentieth century. It provokes passionate responses, for and against.
How do you bring out the human stories behind the numbers that the immigration debate tends to be obscured by? We’ll look at writing about global migration as well as about immigrant communities in NYC, where two out of three residents are immigrants or their children. Texts will be in a variety of genres – journalism, sociology, fiction and film – and include  Valeria Luiselli, Andrea Elliott, Gary Shteyngart, Akhil Sharma, Michael Clemens, Nancy Foner, and Frederick Wiseman.
We’ll take field trips to story-rich neighborhoods like Jackson Heights, the most diverse neighborhood in the country. Students will pick an immigrant group in NYC to report on through the semester.
I have been studying immigration for many years now, and am coming out with a book this June on the topic: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374276027