Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, April 7, 2017

Human Migration

MALA 6010-002
Foundations of the Liberal Arts II: Human Migration
Spring 2017
Tuesday 6:00-9:00
COE 104
[*April 18 Quiz below]
Block 6: April 11 and April 18
"The Human Journey to Cosmopolitanism"
Phil Oliver (Philosophy) - We'll begin with introductions. I'd also like to hear some highlights and impressions of what you all have gleaned from the course so far. Catch me up, please!
Block Description:
Reflections on human migration, its contributions to the interweaving of culture, thought, and the creation of world citizenship. The practical and ethical upshot of global migration and immigration is that we live in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. Old patterns of nationalism, chauvinism, and mutual mistrust are challenged by this most promising form of globalism.
The following readings are required and are available in D2L, or via this link..
  • Prior to class on April  11 & 18, write down your answers to the quizzes I'll post here. We'll go over them in class.
  • Prior to class on April 18, post a 250+ word comment here, or on D2L, replying to the Discussion Question of your choice (or your invention) pertaining to Spencer Wells' Journey.
  • Prior to class on April 25, post a 250+ word comment here, or on D2L, replying to the Discussion Question of your choice (or your invention) pertaining to Appiah's Cosmopolitanism.
  • By May 2, post a 250+ word comment here, or on D2L, discussing how you think our block relates to other things you've learned in the course. You can use relevant parts of your 5-page "round table" essay for this post.

Colleges Are Rejecting Our Common Humanity and the Science That Reveals It

Academics often point out that diversity is good, in part, because it brings different perspectives and experiences to the table. I agree. In fact, this is one reason many argue that higher education needs to also promote viewpoint diversity. Diversity based on identities such as race does not necessarily reflect a deeper diversity of life experiences and personal beliefs.

This might come as a surprise to those trained to mindlessly repeat “white privilege,” but white people often have very diverse life histories and economic backgrounds. Tragedy and triumph are not bound to race, gender, or any other group identity.

That being said, I would like to focus on a different and often neglected benefit of all forms of diversity, including viewpoint diversity. Diversity doesn’t just showcase the many ways people are different. It also reveals our similarities. Diversity connects people across different groups by demonstrating a common humanity.

I was born and spent the early years of my life in West Africa. Most of the kids I played with were Africans. Guess what? It didn’t matter. Kids are kids. Children all over the world have an equal capacity for imagination and the same intrinsic desire to play, explore, and bond with others.

When my own children were in their early years of primary school, I was a professor in England. My children attended a school near the university that was extremely culturally diverse. English was not the native language of many of the students. Mine were the only Americans at the school and most of their friends were other international students from countries such as Pakistan, India, and China.

Though they certainly learned about a number of cultural differences, as did my wife and I, a crucial lesson they received was that people from all over the world have a lot in common... (continues)
Latest from The Ethicist: on public versus private selves and what you owe a prospective neighbor.
An additional, irresistible philosophical aspect of our topic is the peripatetic ("walking/talking") tradition in philosophy. Throughout history, human migration has been a predominantly ambulatory affair: people transported themselves by literally placing one foot in front of the other. Philosophers have noticed and explored this phenomenon. There have been explicitly peripatetic philosophers, most notably Aristotle's Lyceum students; and a strong tradition of non-explicit peripatetic philosophizing continues to this day. Your instructor is a devotee and advocate of that tradition. If conditions permit, I'll invite the class to spend a portion of our class-time actually doing peripatetic philosophy: we'll select a discussion question and disperse into small (2 or 3-student) discussion groups, spending a designated period of time walking and talking on our own MTSU Lyceum grounds (or in COE) before returning to share our reflections with the class. Those who choose not to participate, or who are unable for reasons of health or physical restriction, may opt for sedentary classroom discussion during that time.

"You and I, in fact everyone all over the world, we're all literally African under the skin; Brothers and sisters separated by a mere 2.000 generations. Old-fashioned concepts of race are not only socially divisive, but scientifically wrong. It's only when we've fully taken this onboard, that we can say with any conviction that the journey our ancestors launched all those years ago, is complete."

Spencer Wells - The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey (2002) https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Man-Ge...
DVD: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index....
Credits: PBS https://www.youtube.com/user/PBS
Ted Talk... "All who wander are not lost"... The Human Story-genographic.com"using cutting-edge genetic and computational technologies to analyze historical patterns in DNA from participants around the world to better understand our shared genetic roots."
The fossil record places human origins in Africa some 150,000 years ago, but science continues to search for details about the incredible journey that took Homo sapiens from Africa to the far reaches of the Earth. How did each of us end up where we are? Why do we have such a wide variety of colors and features?
Through the eons of time, the full story of human ancestry remains written in our genes. When DNA is passed from one generation to the next, most of it is recombined by the processes that give each of us our individuality. But some parts of the DNA chain remain largely intact through the generations, altered only occasionally by random mutations, which become what are called genetic markers. The order in which these markers occur allows geneticists to trace our common evolutionary time line back many generations.
Different populations carry distinct mutation, or genetic markers. Identifying and following the markers back through generations reveals a relationship shared by all humans, best conceptualized in the form of a genetic tree. Today, thousands of diverse branches, corresponding to unique human groups, can be followed backward to their common African root more than 100 millennia ago.
"The word ‘cosmopolitan’, which derives from the Greek word kosmopolitês (‘citizen of the world’), has been used to describe a wide variety of important views in moral and socio-political philosophy. The nebulous core shared by all cosmopolitan views is the idea that all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, are (or can and should be) citizens in a single community." SEP

"We humans have set foot on another world in a place called the Sea of Tranquility, an astonishing achievement for creatures such as we, whose earliest footsteps three and one-half million years old are preserved in the volcanic ash of east Africa. We have walked far." Carl Sagan, Cosmos - "Who Speaks for Earth?"

The present. What else do we have? The past is dead, the future’s not yet living. Right? Not quite. Past and future are virtually alive in us, for those of us who think there’s something in them we can use. Something we must respond to, and connect with.
Like ancient footprints.  When we walk a mile in their ash we extend their range and deepen our connection to cosmic time, “ancient and vast.” We speak for the earth of things.
We humans have set foot on another world in a place called the Sea of Tranquility, an astonishing achievement for creatures such as we, whose earliest footsteps three and one-half million years old are preserved in the volcanic ash of east Africa. We have walked far.
It’s important to recall and retain the past. George Santayana‘s famous “01905” warning about the hazards of forgetting is still right, though  overquoted. Churchill was right too, to lump the reading and writing of history with its creation. Cosmic connection, U@d 9.27.10

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." Thomas Jefferson

There is a sequel, for Spencer Wells. Our ancestors eventually stopped hunting, gathering, and roaming, settling down and literally planting roots. That led to a population explosion, relative immobility, and ultimately all the health and happiness consequences that accrue to a sedentary society. Solvitur ambulando! 

Re: "Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization" by Spencer Wells
"True, western societies are much better off materially than they were 40 years ago, but why is there so much crime, vandalism and graffiti? Why are divorce rates so high? Why are we seeing declines in civic engagement and trust? Why have obesity and depression reached epidemic proportions, even amongst children? Why do people call this the age of anxiety? Why do studies in most developed countries show that people are becoming unhappier? —RICHARD TOMKINS, Financial Times, October 17, 2003"

Could "selfish genes" be responsible? “Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.” ― Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene We are born selfish? Or, our genes would be selfish if they had a choice? Either way, culture (and specifically education) is the arena in which we must "try to teach generosity and altruism."

On Being. How can unimaginable social change happen in a world of strangers? Kwame Anthony Appiah is a philosopher who studies ethics and his parents’ marriage helped inspire the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. In a tense moment in American life, he has refreshing advice on simply living with difference... (transcript... play episode)

"The Ethicist" - New York Times Magazine... Appiah on Cosmopolitanism (video)... Appiah's personal philosophy (Big Think)... Is religion good or bad? (TED Talk)... Identity & cosmopolitanism (interview)
*April 18 Quiz (sorry if you looked here for the quiz Friday, it was completed but somehow didn't save-jpo)

1. To whom do we have responsibilities, and what is our moral challenge?

2. Why does Appiah use the term "cosmopolitanism" with ambivalence, but in preference to what other terms? Who first coined the term, and who elaborated it?

3. Who linked our obligation to understand our confreres to our global economic interdependence?

4. What does it mean to value particular human lives, and why is this more a challenge than a solution?

5. What did Burke say of Rousseau?

6. Who were cosmopolitanism's noisiest foes?

7. What did Cicero say about "fellowship"?

8. Appiah's father told him to remember what?

9. Cosmopolitanism begins with what simple idea?

10. Appiah favors what model for negotiating different universal and local values?

11. Sir Richard Francis Burton distinguished gentlemen from ____.

12. Burton's poetic translation combined eastern humanitarianism with the western ____ habit of mind, while also reminding Appiah of what western philosopher?

13. Burton's metaphor for faith and truth is what, implying what deep mistake?

14. What did Croesus ask Solon?

15. What's an example of Burton's misanthropy?

16. A tollbooth on the road to Mecca says what?

17. Appiah has no more reason to resent Muslim pilgrims than to begrudge who?

18. What seductive alternative to arbitrating moral differences does Appiah mention?
19. What did the founder of the Boy Scouts collect?

20. What are the two primary uses of the word "culture"?

21. What does Appiah mean when he says that the artifacts of an extinct culture belong to all of us?

22. What's the difference between saying that people experience and value art, and that peoples do?

23. What's wrong with the "finders, keepers" rule of art acquisition?

24. What did Picasso allegedly say about great artists?

25. Contemporary culture's been poorly served by what kind of laws?

26. Whose people made the Great Wall of China, the Chrysler Building, and the Sistine Chapel?


  • "The very idea of morality entails that "each person you know about and can affect is someone to whom you have responsibilities" - agree?
  • Does "cosmopolitan" imply to you a condescending attitude?
  • Can and should we separate economic and ethical globalism?
  • Do you agree with Voltaire, and his German counterpart? xv
  • Would it be easier to think of yourself as a citizen of the world if we were to encounter citizens of other worlds?
  • What's your view of patriotism, and of Wolfe's and Tolstoy's repudiation of it? What do you think of the idea that a patriot always supports his nation, but his government only when it deserves support?
  • Who are cosmopolitanism's noisiest foes today?
  • Which end of the "partial cosmopolitanism" spectrum, between the nationalist who "abandons all foreigners" and the  hardcore cosmopolitan with "icy impartiality," are you closer to?
  • Can you claim a deep ethnic/religious loyalty without diluting your greater humanity? xvii
  • Do you agree with Eliot and Cicero? xviii
  • Do you feel conflicting urges to migrate AND settle? Have you felt it more urgently at different stages of life, as either a choice or a necessity? Will you migrate when you retire?
  • If we respect diversity must we also respect anti-cosmopolitanism?
  • Do you have a reply to any of Appiah's "cluster" questions? xxi
  • Some studies say conservative anti-immigrationists are happier than liberal progressives. Are they flawed? Do they reflect the wisdom of Solon? 6
  • Should the old saying "When in Rome...(etc.)" be amended to say that doing as the Romans does not imply believing with them or approving of them? Is this hypocritical?
  • Does "live and let live" mean we must tolerate those who don't want to do likewise?
  • Is Picasso's alleged remark about stealing relevant to the "cultural patrimony" debate?
  • How much further can or should corporate branding go?  130
April 11 Quiz

1. Why did Spencer Wells entitle his book "Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey"? With what two questions does he begin?

2. What aboriginal analogy with DNA does Wells suggest as descriptive of his project?

3. Who was Herodotus? What was his tour de force?

4. Who was "Darwin's Bulldog," and with whom did he debate what in 1860?

5. What dispute was at issue between Charles Lyell and Louis Agassiz?

6. Which of Darwin's "other subjects" is of particular interest to Wells?

7. What was Darwin's position in the nature-nurture debate?

8. What did Darwin call for at the end of Voyage of the Beagle, and what does Wells say that implies about his view of humanity?

9. What was Darwin's "important insight" about race-consciousness?

10. What is polygeny, and why did theists and biologists object to it?

11. Anthropology in the early 20th century was overtly political with respect to what programs and policies?

12. Which evolutionist contributed to the growth of the eugenics movement?
13. A Sumerian creation myth says the gods overindulged in imbibing what?

14. Archaeological evidence suggests that Polynesians undertook an epic sea journey to where, within the past 4,000 years?

15. Only a few hundred generations ago we were all what?

16. What happened simultaneously around the world, around 10,000 years ago?

17. By adopting agriculture, Neolithic humans initiated what developments leading to modern civilization?

18. Over half of what male population shows evidence of a massive expansion in the past 10,000 years?

19. What transformative shift in thinking may have occurred in just a few generations?

20. Whose explanation for linguistic diversity presaged Darwin by over 60 years?

21. The rich vocabulary for horses and wheeled vehicles in all languages suggests what?

22. What model for how the Indo-European languages came to India appears to be true?

23. Who speak a language unrelated to any other?

24. What unique genetic link arose from a second migration into the Americas between 5-10,000 years ago?

25. What social quirk produces what Y-chromosome pattern?

  • Spencer Wells says genetics provides a map of our wanderings as a species "from our birthplace in Africa... to the present day - and beyond." How do you think a knowledge of past migrations helps inform our understanding of the future?
  • COMMENT: "The really vital question for us all is, What is this world going to be? What is life eventually to make of itself?" William James, Pragmatism
  • Do you feel yourself to be vitally connected with ancestors, contemporaries, and descendants? Are we all links in a chain of genetics and culture? Does our day-to-day life reinforce or subvert a sense of connection? Why does this matter?

Block 1: January 24 and 31 
“Regional Migration Systems: The Dynamics, Challenges, and Problems of Governing” 
Dr. Andrei Korobkov (Political Science)

Andrei Korobkov is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Middle Tennessee State University. He graduated from Moscow State University and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Institute of International Economic and Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Alabama. He has previously worked as Research Fellow at the Institute of International Economic and Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and taught at the University of Alabama. Korobkov is a recipient of numerous grants, he has authored three monographs and about two hundred articles and book chapters published worldwide. His academic interests include the issues of post-Communist transition, state- and nation-building, nationalism, globalization and regionalization, BRICS, geopolitics, ethnic conflict, and international migration. He has previously served as the US co-chair of the working group on migration at the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange and President and Program Chair of the Post-Communist States in International Relations section of the International Studies Association, and currently serves as Vice President and Program Chair of the Association’s Comparative Interdisciplinary Studies Section.C:\Users\ltlyons\Pictures\MALA Faculty\Korobkov.JPG

Block Description:
We will consider the trends in migration and the mechanisms governing it within the three largest migration systems of the world: the European (centered on the EU), the North American (centered on the US), and the Eurasian (centered on Russia). At the center of the discussion will be the roots of the current migration-related social and political tensions and the similarities and differences between policies introduced within these regional systems and their core migrant-receiving countries, which are aimed at dealing with these tensions. The recent developments simultaneously indicate the importance of immigration for economic development, the potential destabilizing effect of the massive inflow of ethnically and religiously distinct migrants on the receiving states, and the necessity of coherent governmental policies of migrant integration. As a case study, we will discuss the evolution of the latest to be formed Eurasian migration system. Our primary goal will be the to find out whether Eurasian migration trends represent part of a worldwide trend, marked by growing divisions within the international migration flow and a strong competition developing among states for the highly skilled migrants simultaneously with the mounting resistance to migrants of most other types.

Readings for Week I:
Stephen Castles, Hein de Haas, and Mark J. MillerThe Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. 5th edition. Guilford Press, 2013, 102-46.

Andrei Korobkov. “Post-Soviet Migration: New Trends at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century.” In: Migration, Homeland, and Belonging in Eurasia. Blair Ruble, Cynthia Buckley, and Erin Trouth Hofmann, eds. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, 69-98.

Readings for Week II:
Andrei Korobkov. “Migration Debates: Social and Economic Aspects.” Rethinking Russia. 18.08.2016. http://rethinkingrussia.ru/en/2016/08/andrei-korobkov-migration-debates-social-and-economic-aspects/

James F. Hollifield. “Governing Migration.” In Kavita R. Khory, ed. Global Migration: Challenges in the Twenty-First Century. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 183-209.

Andrei Korobkov and Zhanna Zaionchkovskaia. “Russian Brain Drain: Myths and Reality.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies Special Issue on Disintegration of the Soviet Union. Twenty Years Later. Assessment. Quo Vadis? Richard Sakwa and Andrey Kazantsev, eds., vol. 45, no. 3-4, September-December 2012, 327-41.

Assignments:  TBA

Block 2: February 7 and 14
“Perspectives on Human Migration”
Dr. Foster Amey (Sociology and Anthropology)C:\Users\ltlyons\Pictures\MALA Faculty\Amey.jpg
  Foster K. Amey, a demographer by training, received his PhD from Bowling Green State University. He joined the sociology faculty at MTSU in 1999. He is currently a professor of sociology and teaches undergraduate courses in introductory sociology, social problems, population and society, urban and community studies, research methods, peoples and cultures of Africa, statistics, and senior seminar in sociology. At the graduate level, Dr. Amey teaches quantitative research methods and social statistics. He has been involved in several graduate thesis projects, some of which he directed. Dr. Amey’s research projects cover two main tracts, namely population health and issues of immigrant experiences in the United States. He has presented his research at several conferences of the American Sociological Association and the Western Social Science Association, among others. Dr. Amey has served on and chaired a number of University Committees. He has also represented his department and the College of Liberal Arts on the Faculty Senate.
Block Description:
This block will examine the meaning and types of migration as well as other concepts relevant to a rigorous understanding of the migration phenomenon. It will also examine the theories used to explain the social, economic, political, and other dimensions of the migration processes. These dimensions inform the responses that individuals, organizations, and governments make to the presence or absence of migrants in any society. Consequently, the block will conclude by examining US approaches and government policies (historical and contemporary) aimed at influencing the migration process including policies towards refugees and asylum seekers.

Topic for Week 1:  Concepts, Types, & Theories of Human Migration
Required Readings (Available at JSTOR via James Walker Library)
Lee, Everett S. 1966. A Theory of Migration. Demography 3(1): 47-57.
Piché, Victor and Catriona Dutreuilh. 2013. Contemporary Migration Theories as
Reflected in their Founding Texts. Population 68(1): 141-164.
Topic for Week 2:  Immigration to the US: History, Patterns, Trends, & Debates
Required Reading (Available from Population Reference Bureau—see link)
Martin, Philip and Elizabeth Midgley. 2006. Immigration: Shaping and Reshaping
America. Population Bulletin 61(4). Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau.

Assignments: (1) Students are expected to complete the assigned readings before class and be ready to discuss the ideas presented following prompts from the instructor.
(2) Students will be expected to write ONE short essay (no more than five pages) at the end of the block. The essay topic will be chosen from a list of four questions presented by the instructor.
Note: All Population Reference Bureau publications can be downloaded FREE from prb.org. A link is provided. All others can be obtained from JSTOR through James Walker Library.
General References
Baldwin-Edwards, Martin. 2008. Towards a Theory of Illegal Migration: Historical and
Structural Components. Third World Quarterly 29(7): 1449-1459.
Bremner, Jason and Lori M. Hunter. 2014. Migration and the Environment. Population
Bulletin 69(1). Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau.
Castles, Stephen. 2012. Migration and Social Transformation. Pp. 155-178 in An
Introduction to International Migration Studies: European Perspectives, edited by Marco Martinello and Jan Rath. Armsterdam, Amsterdam University Press.
Kent, Mary Maderios. 2007. Immigration and America’s Black Population. Population
Bulletin 62(4). Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau.
Martin, Philip. 2013. The Global Challenge of Managing Migration. Population
Bulletin 68(2). Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau.

Block 3: February 21 and 28
“Global/Mobil: Connecting Dance and Migration”
Ms. Marsha Barsky (Theatre & Dance)

Marsha Barsky, Assistant Professor and Director of Dance, has worked both nationally and internationally as a teacher, performer and choreographer. At MTSU, she teaches courses in modern dance technique, choreography, dance history, and the Alexander Dance, and in 2015 she was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award.  In addition to her work at MTSU, she serves on the review board for the Journal of Dance Education, the executive board for the Tennessee Association of Dance, and is the founder and Artistic Director of Company Rose Contemporary Dance in Nashville, TN. In 2016, she was named Distinguished Foreign Expert in Dance at Chengdu University, China. In addition to her work in dance, she is a certified yoga instructor and, since 2011, a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Block Description:
The IOM defines migration as “the movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border, or within a State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people, whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced persons, economic migrants, and persons moving for other purposes, including family reunification”.  Since dance is the arrangement of bodily movement in time and space, it can serve as a unique and critical lens for understanding the experiences of both voluntary and involuntary migratory movement. In this block, we will explore and discuss how dance can offer us an unique perspective for understanding patterns of individual and mass human movements across the world’s stage. We will focus our attention on two dance artists that have defined modern/contemporary dance; Katherine Dunham from the U.S. and Akrahm Kahn from the U.K.
List of Readings and Assignments:
Week 1 Reading (posted to D2L):
An Anthropologist Looks at Ballet as a Form of Ethnic Dance. Joann Kealinohomoku.
Dancing the Black Atlantic: Katherine Dunham’s Research-to-Performance Method. Halifu Osumare. http://homiletic.net/index.php/ameriquests/article/viewFile/165/182
Week 1 Video Viewing (posted to D2L):
KETC: Living St. Louis/Katherine Dunham https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vyx6ue7K6o
Week 2 Reading (posted to D2L):
“Embodiment of Memory and the Diasporic Agent in Akrahm Kahn Company’s Bahok.” Performance, Embodiment, and Cultural Memory. Royon Amitra
Week 1 Video Viewing (posted to D2L):
Akraham Kahn.  Bahok
Assignment: Due March 14, 2017
Write an essay that responds the following:
1. It is common to say that everyone that comes to America is an immigrant, research your own background and look into which countries your parent, grandparent, great grandparent, etc. came from.
2. Choose one of the countries or areas from which one of your ancestors came from and identify an array of dances that they may have been familiar with.
3. Of these dances, choose one an research into how this dance shifted or developed once it migrated to America. Is this dance still performed today? If so, by whom, and where?
Your essay should be at least 5 full pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins.
Block 4: March 14 and 21
“Migration, Identity, and American Popular Music”
Dr. Greg Reish (Center for Popular Music/Music)

 Greg Reish is Director of the Center for Popular Music and Professor of Music History at MTSU. He holds the BM in jazz guitar from the University of Miami, and the MA and PhD in musicology from the University of Georgia. A former Fulbright scholar to Italy, he is an authority on twentieth-century Italian music, as well as a scholar of American old-time, bluegrass, and related vernacular musical styles. Reish recorded and released an album of old-time fiddle and guitar duets with his musical partner Matt Brown in 2015, co-produced a reissue album of home recordings by legendary musicians John Hartford and Howdy Forrester, and hosts a weekly radio show, Lost Sounds, on WMOT 89.5 FM.C:\Users\ltlyons\Pictures\MALA Faculty\Reish.jpg
Block Description:
We will use three case studies to examine how human migration has shaped community music making, how music serves to establish communal identity in new settings, and how migratory experiences contribute to the evolution of popular musical genres.
Readings for March 14:
John Baily and Michael Collyer, “Introduction: Music and Migration,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32/2 (March 2006): 167–182.
Daniel Margolies, “Latino Migrant Music and Identity in the Borderlands of the New South,” The Journal of American Culture 32/2 (June 2009): 114–125.
Listening for March 14:
Rey Norteño, “Raleigh, Norte Carolina”
Readings for March 21:
Benjamin Filene, Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000): 76–110.
Peter LaChapelle, Proud to Be an Okie: Cultural Politics, Country Music, and Migration to Southern California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007): 45–75.
Listening for March 21:
Muddy Waters, “Country Blues”
Muddy Waters, “Hard Day Blues”
Muddy Waters, “I Feel Like Going Home”
Muddy Waters, “Hoochie Coochie Man”
Woody Guthrie, “Do-Re-Mi”
Woody Guthrie, “Them Big City Ways”
NB: PDF and Mp3 files for all reading and listening assignments will be posted on the course D2L site.
Written Assignment due by March 28:
Compose an essay of at least four pages (double-spaced, 12-point font) describing how the migration of Cajun people from Nova Scotia to Louisiana in the 18th century shaped their music making, and how they have used music to establish and maintain their communal identity ever since. In the essay you should give a brief historical synopsis of the forces that caused this migration, describe the main musical genres and styles that have come to define Cajun music (taking into account influences from other ethnic groups and musical idioms, like the adoption of the German accordion and the influence of commercial country music), and discuss a recording of one Cajun song (of your choosing) to provide support and illustration for your main points. There is no minimum number of research sources required, but you will be evaluated partially on the thoroughness and depth of your research, given the length of the assignment. Be sure to cite your research sources using one of the standard citation formats (APA, MLA, Chicago).
Save your essay as a PDF or DOCX file (no other formats, please) and submit it via the Dropbox folder on D2L no later than March 28.

Block 5: March 28 and April 4
The Postcolonial World Sets the Stage for Modern Migration”
Pat Richey (ORCO/COMM) 

C:\Users\ltlyons\Pictures\MALA Faculty\Richey.jpg
 Dr. Patrick (Pat) Richey earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Richey’s academic interests include debate history and theory, and rhetoric, specifically post-modern thought, military rhetoric, and Islamic rhetoric. He has published multiple articles, book chapters, and has presented at dozens of conferences.  His experience in the US Army as a Civil Affairs sergeant began his lifelong interest in the postcolonial world when he served a tour in Iraq in 2003-2004. His dissertation examines the rhetorical power of the Abu Gharib prison abuses photographs.   

Block Description: This block will focus on how the postcolonial world has helped to shape modern migration. We will examine the term postcolonial from the context of European colonialism, specifically, colonialism’s downfall through the 21st-century. We will examine the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as our case example(s). Day 1 will focus on the historical implications and modern terminology. Be sure to read Said, Huntington, and Bhabha. These articles are competing narratives of the postcolonial world. Day 2 will Focus on contemporary issues in the postcolonial world and migration. Be sure to read the Cloud article.

Readings: (provided on D2L).
Edward Said: Orientalism. (Selected reading)
Samuel Huntington: Clash of Civilizations.
Homi Bhabha: Hybridity (Selected reading)
Dana Cloud: To Veil the Threat of Terror.


This is a formal short essay which will examine how the postcolonial world affects modern migration. Choose a modern migration group and an artifact (can be a person, place, item, or event). Clearly explain how the postcolonial world influences/d the artifact and group. I understand this assignment has a level of conjecture. However, you can still find good quality resources to back your positions. This is not a right or wrong answer essay, but one which makes a strong and well-researched argument. Grammar and structure are critical to a strong argument.

5-7 pages APA or MLA formatting.
Times New Roman or Arial
12 Font Double Spaced
Appropriate reference/bibliography page (not part of page count)
Turn It In will be used on D2L

Two copies:
One hard Copy for Day 2
One E-copy dropped into the “Postcolonial” folder on D2L
Due to the nature of this course, late assignments are not accepted. If in the case of dire circumstances, late work must be approved by Dr. Richey beforehand.
Group: Palestinians
Artifact: President Trump’s announcement to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Colonial & Postcolonial Influence: Post Ottoman Empire, Israel’s creation through modern events, Palestinian Diaspora, etc.  

Dr. Dawn McCormack (Course Coordinator)
Office: Todd Hall 231
Office Phone: 615-494-8603
cell: 615-848-8854

OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30 (other times can be arranged by appointment) It is best to make an appointment as I often have meetings. If you need to track me down, you can call the College of Liberal Arts Office at 615-898-5986. They can schedule appointments or tell you when I will be in the office. Questions and issues may also be addressed via e-mail, text message or phone call.
READINGS AND STUDY SOURCES: (Please see listing for each individual professor in the course schedule. Other readings may be added later in the semester)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: With the current stream of Syrian refugees pouring into Europe, issues pertaining to human migration have become the focus of daily news. In this course, we will look at the topic of “human migration” through the disciplines of Organizational Communication, Sociology, Political Science, Dance, Music and Philosophy. Time periods, parts of the world, and perspectives will vary throughout the semester, providing students with an understanding of this issue from many points of view.
∙ Gain an understanding of the foundation of Liberal Arts disciplines
∙ Increase content knowledge of the Liberal Arts disciplines
∙ Gain a greater appreciation of the interdisciplinary approach to learning
∙ Improve the ability to read and write critically and at an advanced level
∙ Recognize the methods of knowing in various disciplines

COURSE STRUCTURE: The course will begin with an introduction to the Liberal Arts and the M.A. in Liberal Arts program. The next 12 weeks will feature inspiring professors from 6 different departments who will discuss their approaches to the topic of “Human Migration” through their disciplines. Each individual professor will lead the class for two weeks and will assign readings and assignments. Through these exercises and discussions, you will 2 have the opportunity to learn about fascinating topics while using approaches from different disciplines. You will also work on your reading and oral and written communication skills. At the end of the course, professors and students will engage in a round table session in which you will work to bring together what you have learned about “human migration” and different methods used to approach this topic during the semester.
ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is essential, especially since this course only meets one day a week, and professors rotate every two weeks. If you must be absent, it is your responsibility to contact the coordinator and the professor for that date so that you may make up your work (this may involve extra  readings and assignments).

GRADING: The grading for the course will be based upon a weighted percentage system with a minimum of 0% and a maximum of 100% as indicated below:
Each professor will give you assignments and participation grades which will make up 15% of your grade. With six professors, this will make up 90% of your final grade.
You will write a 5-page essay in conjunction with the round table. You will use the readings from the course as your sources. This will be 5% of your grade.
Participation in the round table will make up 3% of your grade.
You will also begin the process of composing an e-portfolio. This will be 2% of your grade.
Final grades will be based upon the total points earned as follows:
A 94-100 A- 90-93 B+ 87-89 B 84-86 B- 80-83 C+ 77-79
C 74-76 C- 70-73 D+ 67-69 D 64-66 D- 60-63 F 0-59

CHEATING: Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, and facilitation will not be tolerated and will result in a grade of “0” for the assignment or test.
Cheating: turning in work composed for other courses, copying the work of other students, and using notes or technological devices to obtain answers on exams.
Plagiarism: copying the words of an author without proper notation and acknowledgement.
Fabrication: making up content and or sources.
Facilitation: getting unauthorized assistance from others to complete your work.
Violators will also be reported to the Assistant Dean for Judicial Affairs. There will be no exceptions. Remember to start your papers and studying early to avoid the temptation to resort to any of these offenses.
ACCOMMODATION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: If you have a disability that may require assistance or accommodation, or you have questions related to any accommodations for testing, note takers, readers, etc., please speak with me as soon as possible. Students may also contact the Office of Disabled Students Services (615-898-2783) with questions about such services.
RESPECT AND ELECTRONICS: Please abide by a policy of mutual respect for your instructor and your fellow students. Cell phones or any other electronic devices should be silenced, and texting or e-mailing should not be done during class. Students are expected to pay attention and contribute in a positive manner.


  1. Allen Morrell10:51 AM CDT

    Spencer Wells Quiz Disc que 3-
    I do feel a definite connection to members of my family both past and present and also to the stories of those that in my family that i have heard about but have never met. Genetically, of course we are connected with traits and likenesses that we may not even realize. I think our modern American day to day life does subvert this connection or at the very least, makes it difficult to contemplate and remain focusd on the connection to keep learning about the people that we came from, our family histories, etc. We are distracted by media, constant input, mass information, etc to such a degree that I think the concept of being connected to our families, and our past gets much less screen time in our brain than it did in previous generations. Because of this, I do think we have lost some sense of history and of a shared identity that other generations in the past probably felt more strongly about and connected to. And it does seem to me that families and groups that remain more closely tied to an agrarian lifestyle and have boundaries on how much outside influence( social media, internet) is absorbed, seem to have a better connection and sense of history with their families and especially their past and ancestors...i.e..more of a collective history and identity. This fact is very sad to me, although coming up with ways to remedy this issue seems an overwhelming task in light of how much we all depend on the constant stream of information that we rely on everyday and are used to. All of the conveviences of life make us less stressed and more stressed simultaneously, or at least that is my opinion. Considering doing without them after having become used to them...adds another level of stress. Allen Morrell

  2. With a knowledge of past migration patterns we are able to see the errors and successes that were made within a civilization or group, we can see the factors that lead to the migration (i.e. war, natural disaster, economic collapse, religious persecution, etc.,) and we can also see the impact that migration had on both the place that was migrated from and the place that was migrated to, by the group. Often times life is cyclical and will repeat the same course, thus by having a roadmap of past migrations it can serve as either a blueprint or a cautionary tale for how to navigate the complexities of life.
    Migration events inevitably have a ripple effect on both the migration destination and the place of migration origination. The place that is the origination of migration will obviously see a decline in population which can lead to a decline in economics, taxes, and labor in the work force among other things. While the migration destination will see an influx in new people and this too can affect their economy, labor and housing market, create tensions, or add stress on the resources that are available in the new location. By having a working and thorough understanding of past migration patterns, governments, human rights groups, non-governmental organizations, and other entities working on behalf of migrants can better plan for inevitable migration shifts and can also implement policies or procedures to possibly help curb migration and increase the likelihood of would-be migrants to remain in their homeland.

  3. Knowledge of past migrations may help us gain a better understanding of what our future could be, but I do not believe it gives us any insight into specificities regarding this future. For example, the shift from hunter-gatherers to stationary agrarian communities is evidence that with the invention of new technologies and simpler methods of performing work, humans are more likely to take the easier route than go back to the former, more labor-intensive way of life. With the advent of these agrarian communities, humans were able to sustain larger populations in one area. This was similar to and evident in future migrations; people moved from one place to another for an easier life or a life with more opportunity. A great example of this is the Great Migration of southern African Americans to Northern U.S. States after the end of the civil wars. Because of greater opportunities and an easier way of life, these Americans migrated. IT was far from perfect, but it was better than where they left from. The positive pull factors outweighed the negative pull factors. I do believe this will continue to be the case. For example, I moved from Northern Georgia to Middle Tennessee for more opportunities, both personally and professionally. To make another move, I would need to be sure the positive pull factors outweigh the negative. As far as providing specific insights to our futures, only these will be revealed as time unfurls; I do not believe we will be able to predict specific future events based upon our genetic map. Of course, there are predictions of what future genetic maps may look like, but until we get to that place in time, no one can really know what the future holds for humanity.

  4. Do you feel conflicting urges to migrate AND settle? Have you felt it more urgently at different stages of life, as either a choice or a necessity? Will you migrate when you retire?

    Very often I find myself engulfed in an internal conflict about whether or not to migrate and settle in a different country. America is my home, but I have traveled to over twenty different countries around the world and have a different perspective of things that are available and different opportunities. The levels of racism and prejudice were different in my experiences in Japan, Argentina, and Canada than in America. The cost of medical treatment was far less in Spain and Cameroon than in America. Likewise, the instances of police brutality and shootings of unarmed African-Americans was far less in England or Brunei than in America. These, and countless more instances, give me the personal motivation to migrate and settle in another country. I have felt it more urgently the older I get and the more I understand the world around me. America has the most expensive health care system in the world, and also has the most liberal use of GMO’s, toxins, steroids, hormones, and additives within the food for the general population. As I have gotten older and better understand the health risks associated with virtually all of the American made food available to me, I connect the lack of healthy food options with the rising cost of health care and conclude that this is a system I no longer want myself or my family to be a part of much longer. I will likely migrate to Argentina for retirement between age forty-five and fifty. The cost of living is cheaper in South America, the health care costs are less, and the pace of life is much slower. All these things are much more appealing to my sensibilities than what is currently offered in the United States.

  5. MALA Discussion Question: Journey of Man.
    Do you feel yourself to be vitally connected with ancestors, contempories, and descendants?

    I believe that when looking at the grand scheme of things that genetically and "spiritually" we are all connected on some deeper level. Though one may go and take a test to get a better sense of their genetic line, it is hard to have a deeper connection to one's ancestors. Culturally one can find a connection to their ancestors, through the language that you speak and the traditions that you uphold in your family. When asked about my family is identification wise, even though I was born in America, I will generally say Scottish/Irish. In this sense it is a way for my family to keep a hold of our roots even though we have not been there in over 200 years. This is considered my identity, a way for me to find a place to belong in the world we live in. Though I identify as this, no I do not feel connected to my ancestors. The only connection that I have is that we share the same genetic sequence, which in itself is not much in the long run as everyone person has, even if it is one code, a genetic connection to everyone else.

    1. I believe personally that I should not be defined by my ancestors and their actions. When looking at ones family tree, I believe that in the long run every tree will be connected at one point. That every person is the beginning of a new tree.

  6. I believe it would be easier to think of yourself as a citizen of the world if we were to encounter citizens of other worlds. It relates to the “shared enemy” mindset. If there were an outside entity that presented a threat to the entirety of humanity, then it would be likely everyone could join together for the sake of humanity. It would be easy to rally together to save human life. But also, with the currently lack of extraterrestrial intelligent life, I think it’s important for us as humans to experience as much of other cultures as possible. Taking the time to see how other humans live would give valuable perspective to humanity. Seeing a village in Africa that doesn’t have clean water, a community in Romania that lives in very close, over-populated quarters, or perhaps even spending time at a local homeless shelter would help you gain perspective on how privileged you are and how much you take for granted. I believe it is very easy to become a citizen of the world just by taking time to gather information about the world and it’s citizens. Additionally, I think there are entities that are currently presenting threats to the entirety of humanity that should be causing the citizens of the world to come together. Global warming and holes in the ozone layer are serious issues that require the cooperation of the entire world in order to promote change. Even though it isn’t an otherworldly threat, it is just as scary and dangerous. If extraterrestrial neighbors decide to come to Earth, then it may cause a world-wide effort of humanitarianism. However, there are foreign neighbors and threats on Earth at this moment that could and should have the same effect.

  7. Final Philosophy Questions...

    In previous blocks during the semester course the objective has usually been to outline or define forms of, reasons for, and patterns of migration. However, by the beginning of this final block the foundation for migration has been thoroughly established and this block is about establishing thoughts about migration and understanding the philosophy behind it. This block takes theories from Darwin’s evolution, eugenics, the Sumerian creation myth, and the effects of cosmopolitanism and globalism on migration. This block relates to the previous block’s foundation of migration by taking knowledge that has been established and asking “why”. This block takes the perspective that if a student understands what migration is then it is equally important to understand why and how migration effects populations and core thoughts of thinking. For example, during the previous block on postcolonial world effects on migration, students learned that colonialism created policies and global structures that were restructured during post colonialism and also during neo colonialism. Thus the “Human Journey to Cosmopolitanism” block begs the questions of what role race plays in a globalized, neo colonialist world? It begs the question of how we define the terms “species” or “culture” within mass migrations and mass assimilations into new places? This final block has played the role of capstone to our migration indoctrination and forces students to look beyond the definition and explore not only the institutions that play a role in creating migration, but also to explore the internal causes and mindsets that adopt migration as a legitimate and viable option for millions of people around the globe.

    1. "This block relates to the previous block’s foundation of migration by taking knowledge that has been established and asking “why”. - Precisely. I held out for the last block because it makes the most sense to me to cap an interdisciplinary survey of any subject with the broad and reflectivbe sorts of questions philosophers ask. To what end is all this migration pointing? When we venture abroad, are we merely relocating? Or are we expanding our horizons and our footprints, and making ourselves more at home in a larger world? Are we confronting "strangers" or making new friends? Do motion and movement break down ancestral divisions and build up new connections? Is every small journey a migration in microcosm?

      "What's it all about?" A London cabbie once picked up the distinguished philosopher Bertrand Russell and asked him that very question, reporting some disappintment that Lord Russell couldn't tell him. But the fact that he posed the question in the first place was a sign that the glimmer of philosophy lives in us all.

  8. Dorothea Maynard11:57 PM CDT

    Spencer Wells - Do you feel yourself to be vitally connected with ancestors, contemporaries, and descendants? Are we all links in a chain of genetics and culture? Does our day-to-day life reinforce or subvert a sense of connection? Why does this matter?

    Yes, I do feel a definite connection to ancestors from the past, as well as future descendants. Every time I look in the mirror I see many resemblances to my paternal grandmother, as well as my stature (I am petite), which I believe I inherited from my great-grandmother on my maternal side, she was four feet seven inches tall. Also, when I look at my son, Dustin, I also see great resemblances to my mother and her youngest sister, my Aunt Becky. He also has many of their mannerisms, such as the way he smiles and some of the ways he says or does certain things.

    I also believe we are links in a chain of genetics and culture, I described the genetic likenesses above and to our family cultures are very important, however in this day and age it is very hard to share those cultures because we all stay so busy with work, school and other obligations, as well as spread far and wide across the globe. My mother was one of ten children, so we do have a very large family and while we do keep in touch on facebook, but that is not the same as physically seeing each other and watching each other’s children grow and thrive. Although we are far apart, we do have a strong connection and bond. I am an only child, but my cousins and I are very close and I could turn to them or talk to them. I feel the closeness to my family is important because I want my son and my grandchildren and future descendants to know who our family is, some heritages, traditions and the history (past and present) so they have a knowledge of who they are and where they came from so they can pass the information down to future generations.

  9. April 25th Appiah Comment- Allen Morrell

    Cosmopolitanism-Does the word imply a condescending attitude to me?
    After reading and understanding what the current uses for the word are, "Cosmopolitanism" does not seem condescending to me. Before reading the way the word has morphed and changed over time, it might have had a bit of an elitist air about it to me. My perception of the word up until this class would have been that it described someone who was more....more well traveled, more well trained, more well knowledgeable about other cultures, etc. So, is some ways I think it used to strike me as having an air of superiority about it. After thinking on it now though, I simply see it more as describing a world view that is more complete and ventures out into areas and cultures far beyond ones own backyard and/or experience. To me, to think in a cosmopolitan way is to think in broader terms than just Mboro, Tn, or even the U.S. It is to think of ourselves and others in a more all-encompassing way in that our actions and reactions don't just affect those in our closest sphere, but to see all the implied ripple effects.
    I also think the media in some ways has tainted the word to mean or imply "better than". Women's magazines like Cosmopolitan have attached a connotation to the word that implies exclusivity or elitism that has formed in popular culture but that really has done a disservice to the word itself. In reality, the word should have much more to do with inclusion than exclusion.

    1. Curse you, Helen Gurley Brown!

      But seriously, a genuinely cosmo-woman (or man) is not superficially preoccupied with self-presentation and projecting an aura of glamour and sophistication. He/she is deeply committed to moving beyond surface appearances to discover the shared roots of our humanity and to inform our ethical practice so we may indeed "venture out" to celebrate the "Strangers" in our midst. We need to reclaim that word, all of us who want our heirs to inherit a world of mutual support and recognition.

  10. •Do you feel conflicting urges to migrate AND settle? Have you felt it more urgently at different stages of life, as either a choice or a necessity? Will you migrate when you retire?

    During my childhood and throughout my adult life, I have always had this deep resounding urge to leave my home. I have never felt in a sense "comfortable" with where I was at during any given moment. When looking at what I was wanting to do with my college career, I chose the degree of Anthropology, more specifically Cultural Anthropology an Archaeology. Just looking at different cultures whether past or present, struck a chord somewhere within me. I had to go to these different countries and learn more about those who are so vastly different than myself. The older I have become the more this urge to leave has become stronger. My degree focuses on cultures in East Asia, Mesoamerica, the Mediterranean, and Ancient Andean Societies. I would love to live and settle down in one of these regions when I retire.
    Maybe during my travels I will find that one place that makes me feel at home.

    1. Interesting. I think it was the same impulse, in different form, that pushed me towards philosophy. Ultimately I see it as the urge to claim a wider abode, not to be stuck in just one. So in that regard, maybe your travels will not reveal "that one place" but rather will enable you to feel at home in many. The great cosmopolitan dream is of course to feel at home everywhere. And why shouldn't we? For Dorothy there was no place like Kansas. I just got back from Kansas. It's a nice enough place, but there are so many nice places. We're all ultimately in the same place, the place called space.

  11. I had absolutely no idea what to submit for a first impression on how philosophy influenced human migration. My previous experiences with philosophy had been history lessons about philosophers and then how to “philosophize” something, a method I still have yet to grasp. However, after participating in this block, I see that philosophy itself is migratory. Peripatetic philosophy is the method of speaking about topics and philosophizing while moving. While it may not qualify as a “migration pattern,” I believe that the process of philosophizing is inherently migratory. Additionally, we covered an idea that we are all related and we are all citizens of the earth. Being a citizen of the earth is an interesting approach to human migration because if we are all citizens of one earth, what qualifies as a migration? When we go into space, there are no lines and borders. As an earthling, why is moving from one place to another such a large topic of discussion? In conclusion, I feel as though I left the philosophy block with more questions than answers, but I also feel that is one of the purposes of philosophy.
    During the Philosophy block, we explored human migration through the idea of Cosmopolitanism, the idea that we are all descendants of a single community. If we are moved by the thought that we are all related, then we have begun to think above our genetic analysis and for ourselves. This idea sparks questions that are pivotal to the discussion of Human Migration. For example, how did we come to occupy every corner of the earth? How did languages spread and why are some so similar? Also, since everyone has moved, what determines to which culture something belongs? This block helped us form important questions in regards to human migration and how to speak about them with one another to explore possible answers to these questions.

    1. "While it may not qualify as a “migration pattern,” I believe that the process of philosophizing is inherently migratory" - it is, except for those armchair philosophers (among whom I include the iconic Thinker in that statue of Rodin's, hunched chin in hand over his rock) who would benefit from a little lightness of step. In fact I think of my every morning stroll around the neighborhood as a migration in time and space. The nectar's in the journey. The destination may be geographically unchanged but the occupant, after a good walk, is definitely not.

      "We shall not cease from exploration
      And the end of all our exploring
      Will be to arrive where we started
      And know the place for the first time."

      T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

  12. Dorothea Maynard11:10 PM CDT

    Cosmopolitanism Essay

    Do you feel conflicting urges to migrate AND settle? Have you felt it more urgently at different stages of life, as either a choice or a necessity? Will you migrate when you retire?

    I find this to be a very interesting question and very fitting for the first part of my life, and for some years later. As far as conflicting urges of migrating and settling, from the age of two to eleven, my mother moved us six times, while they were necessary moves to get us to a better place each time she was given a promotion because I had a father who did not help her monetarily and it was hard to be a single mother in the early 1970’s. I have in my adult life felt the urge to move from time to time, but always stayed in my home state of Alabama until I turned thirty-two years of age. My forced career migration was a blessing in disguise after a bitter divorce from my son’s father. My son and I moved into a house in Dickson, Tennessee, where we lived for the next ten years until I met my present husband and moved to Clarksville, Tennessee after we married.
    As far as migrating when I retire, it is ironic how this discussion question came about at this time, because my husband and I have just sold his home of forty-nine years and are planning to build a cabin and retire as soon as we graduate to the Gatlinburg surrounding area. This will be the first migration by choice that I have had since I left my mother’s home to join the Air Force and go to college in 1986. We are very excited but a little scared at the same time. What an adventure this will be, but at least we will live the adventure together.

    1. Both "excited and scared" must be how those migrating generations of our ancestors felt. Such an old human pattern, an old quest for new adventures in untried places. The last migration is hard for many of us to contemplate, especially if we've not come to terms with the finality and uncertainty it symbolizes. The conflicting urge both to stay and to go surely reflects our inherent condition as migrants and security-seekers, tackling risk but yearning for safe harbor. Both are "better together." Good luck!

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  14. Spencer Wells says genetics provides a map of our wanderings as a species "from our birthplace in Africa... to the present day - and beyond." How do you think a knowledge of past migrations helps inform our understanding of the future?

    As a geographer, I study the power of where and how place plays a role in developing linear events acting as an anchor to the Earth. Tracing past migrations, helps one track the places where one has come from but it also opens the door to the places one can go. Just as modern man’s ability to imagine something different, drove him to venture out into all the corners of the map. Man’s future lies within understanding the migrations of the past while developing a sense the role migration has played in presenting the present and creating the future. Spencer Wells in his book and documentary The Journey of Man, describes the genetics of how the journey that began in Africa traveling to central Asia then coming to the Americas moved humanity across the globe. All this migration started in one centralized area and shows we are all related and share common ancestry. Through these common traits, it shirks the World and we all complement each other. We are all related as science has proven and divisive labeling will not lead to solving problems but dividing the human family even more than it is now. We can use migration to reunite our human family and save our species from destruction. I have always been an optimist and knowing where I came from has helped me understand my role within my community as I strive to make a difference. Be kind and remember, we all came from the same place.

    1. There you are! Welcome to the conversation.

      "Be kind and remember, we all came from the same place."- That's Kurt Vonnegut's ONLY rule, articulated in "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater": You've got to be kind. If only we knew how to enforce it.

      We may not all end up in the same place, but the cosmopolitan mindset says we have a common destiny. It's a mindset that would defuse most of the tensions our frenetic news cycle obsesses over.

  15. Do you feel conflicting urges to migrate AND settle?
    Yes, the travel bug bit me a few years ago as I ventured out of the United States during a study abroad trip in 2009 to research and learn about the impact of WWII on the tiny island of Peleliu in Palau. As I was walking across this forgotten battlefield littered with unexploded ordinance retracing the steps of my great uncle that fought at Peleliu as a young machine gunner carrying a Browning Automatic Rifle with the 1st Marine Division, I first realized this tiny island with a population of 500 people could be my future home. Since that trip, I have resisted the urge to sell everything and move my family to that tiny island.

    So, why haven’t I acted on this urge to migrate?
    It could be the three-other people in my life that rely on me to be there for them, my two daughters and husband. They like to call Middle Tennessee home. Our roots are here. My mother and in-laws are only separated by sixty miles with my family in the middle. During this phase of my life, I have settled in a suburb of Murfreesboro. For now, my work and family commitments have me here but there is an urge to move, still rooted deep within my soul. I am growing restless.

    Have you felt it more urgently at different stages of life, as either a choice or a necessity?
    In the past, my husband and I moved out of necessity and choice as our family grew and changed. For several of our first years together, we rented apartments in Murfreesboro, Woodbury, Midway, and Auburntown. It seemed every six months to a year, I wanted to change apartments to my husband’s dread. When we finally settled on a house in the southeastern area of Murfreesboro, my husband declared this was our final place of lodging. He essentially said he would die in the house. Over the years, the urge to move for new employment, education opportunities, and just change have come and gone while we have stayed in one place. I am willing to move but the other part of my life is not ready to try something new, just yet.

    Will you migrate when you retire?
    Maybe, I have always tossed around the idea to sell everything and purchase a recreational vehicle to travel the United States or to travel the World. Now, I want to move the family to New Zealand as my field of GIS is exploding there and the opportunities to study and advance my career could be substantial. Convincing the family to move, has not been so easy. My ten-year-old daughter is all for the new experience while my sixteen-year-old daughter and husband are not very fond of the idea. Could I do this when I retire? Why not!

    1. "I want to move the family to New Zealand... Convincing the family to move, has not been so easy." - Lately I've been threatening to move to New Zealand after every other presidential election. You have better cause, it shouldn't be such a hard sell. Have they seen photos of the place? Gorgeous!

      The RV idea is seductive too, though my environmentalist conscience would have a hard time with the carbon footprint. Otherwise, it seems like the ideal cosmopolitan plan. An RV on every traversible continent would be even better, for instilling the sense of one's global citizenship.

      But armchair travel is good too.

    2. Traveling is true cosmopolitanism :)

  16. Dorothea Maynard2:12 PM CDT


    During this portion of our class, I learned how to communicate and relay my thoughts more professionally by learning how to post information and assignments to a blog entry to be read by everyone, though I have always been apprehensive with my peers reading my writing. Migration is a connection that every human being shares whether they realize it or not. We all migrate at one point in our life or another. Dr. Oliver taught me that we all come from the same place and connect in many ways, and I never thought of our genetic makeup with that much depth before. We are all but one part of a large genetic chain and we are all related at the beginning of that genetic chain. I feel this block is vital to the structure of this course, for it offers a new, fresh look at migration and has a more open-minded theory of the subject at hand. Dr. Oliver has a calm, laid back, and one-on-one personality, which pulls his students in to what he teaches them. I have never had a class that really made me want to write about what I have learned, with the exception of History (I am a History major, who honestly has never thought of philosophy as a subject that would affect me, but then again I have never taken a philosophy course to back up that thought, so who am I to judge the curriculum?) Some famous historians, such as Herodotus, were in their time great philosophers, so maybe I should rethink the way I have been programmed to think of this subject.

  17. That's great, Dorothea. Aan undergraduate I was also apprehensive about sharing my thoughts with peers. Back then, of course, there was no Internet. This should be a golden age of classroom collaboration! - if we're open to it.

    Back before we knew anything, everyone was a philosopher!

  18. The Last Jedi Mind Trick

    Lastly, block six had us jump in to the Jedi mind trick world of Philosophy with Dr. Phil Oliver. Dr. Oliver challenged our views of the world and presented Kwane Appiah’s view of Cosmopolitanism and the role of global citizens for the better good of ourselves and others. We also read parts of Spence Well’s book, the Journey of Man. I read the required readings but it wasn’t until I watched the PBS documentary and saw how humanity unfolded across the geography of the world, before I realized that we are all interconnected and related based upon on our DNA. It was fun journey watching Wells track down the genetic links that connected various continents together via the one things every human has coursing through their veins: blood. It was an interesting block that filled me with more questions than answers but it also gave me the tools to look at migration on the cellular level. Without migration, I may not have been born with blue eyes and skin that tans easily when spending too much time in the sun.
    The course work and instruction of the MALA Foundations II course challenged my preconceived ideas of why and how humans moved. As we moved through the materials from each instructor, it became apparent to me that human migration was much more than humans moving from place to place based upon political, ecological, governmental unrest, and countless other factors. Human migration is a personal journey but we are all connected through blood and DNA. We are all cosmopolitan ambassadors for the next group willing to risk everything to flee colonialism, economic, social, political, religious oppression. We are all wandering souls searching for a home.

    1. I had the same reaction: impressed by the book, moved by the documentary. We are the migratory descendants of migrants, truly one species - But so many of us still can't see it. SAD.

  19. The Last Frontier!

    When beginning the Human Migration course, I believed that most of what we would be learning would match up with what I had already learned in my Human Origins course. Once hearing about the different topics that we would be covering, I was a little surprised as some of the sections I would have never though to look at when concerning the topic of migration. Throughout the semester I had the pleasure of being taught by some amazing professors. When we reached the final class focusing on Philosophy, I was both looking forward to and dreading it as the last philosophy course I had taken in undergrad (though enjoyable) was mostly about the history of philosophers. Once receiving the material and attending the class, we did not cover any of the history of the philosopher. In this course we looked at such works as the Journey of Man by Spencer Wells, where migration patterns had already been looked at and explained. This course happened to be one of my favorites as instead of looking at migration itself. we looked more towards their thought patterns of why it happened and how it can explain the "variations" of humans that are alive today.

  20. "dreading it as the last philosophy course I had taken in undergrad (though enjoyable) was mostly about the history of philosophers" - so glad to have exceeded your low expectations! ;)

    I had a student this semester tell me he couldn't "relate" to those old dead philosophers. I wonder if people who feel that way are similarly put off by the history of other disciplines, or whether there's something about philosophers per se that makes their history unappealing to some?

    Think about it: the history of migration is also the story of old dead people, the ones without whom we couldn't be here. The challenge is to bring them to life again... though of course, as we've been saying, they live on in our genes and memes.