Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Jul 20, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AMST 4318 - American Dream?: Journalism, Politics, and Identity in U.S. Immigration Policy

(crosslisted) ENGL 4918 HIST 4318 
(HA-AS, HST-AS)      
Fall. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

Permission of department is required.

M. O’Toole.

This course examines the journalistic record and political discourse around U.S. immigration policy, in the post 9/11 Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden administrations, with a particular focus on the contemporary, but in the larger context of the construct of an “American” identity from the 20th century to today. Drawing from the fields of political and social science, history, law, and journalism, the course will engage students in rigorous ethical and academic debate on the social, economic, and geopolitical factors that spur migration; the roles of governance, authority, democracy — including the press — in responding to it and shaping public opinion and policy around it; and the inextricability of those institutions from nativism, xenophobia, and of course, politics. It will require students to conduct research and reporting of their own with primary sources and the very officials, writers and communities who have both shaped and been shaped by the increasingly urgent debate over the “American Dream,” in the U.S. and around the world. Immigration isn’t stopping. How the U.S. responds will, as it has always done, define what it means to be “American.”

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