A Signature Education Initiative of Duke University

Global Refugee Crisis

Spring 2019

Deconstructing/Reconstructing the Refugee Experience

Exploring the dynamics and the challenges of human displacement through the lens of individual refugees, host communities and international law.

De-constructing/Re-constructing the Refugee Experience aims to offer concrete, research-based interventions to address both the causes and consequences of this crisis. For part of the semester students hone basic field research skills, conduct life story interviews with Durham-based refugees and collaborate with local refugees on a series of support structures to integrate refugees into the local community. Mid-semester, the group travels abroad to conduct life story interviews. Duke students and faculty collaborate both with refugee communities and international, national and local NGOs working with these communities. Working from a variety of methodological, theoretical, disciplinary and political perspectives, participants address a single research question: How does displacement affect the well-being and social identity of those displaced?

De-constructing/Re-constructing the Refugee Experience began Spring 2012 as one of the first DukeImmerse semester programs. Over the years, student cohorts have conducted field research in Durham, NC (USA), Egypt, Jordan, Nepal and the West Bank. Nearly a quarter of students participating in this program go on to write an honors thesis, in Public Policy, Cultural Anthropology, International Comparative Studies and Program II.

Application: A new student cohort will be selected October 2018 for Spring 2019. 

Course fee: $1,000; Duke provides additional grant aid to cover the cost of any course fee for all students receiving financial aid. The course fee is in addition to tuition, room and board. Contact Duke's Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support (finaid@duke.edu) for more information.

Lead Faculty

Co-Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics & Associate Research Professor, Sociology
Research Scholar, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Associate Professor of the Practice, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Assistant Professor of the Practice, Thompson Writing Program

Contact Suzanne Shanahan (shanahan@soc.duke.edu) for more information. 


Number Title Crosslistings Notes
AMES 221-01 LEC (9737) Arab Society & Culture in Film ALP, CCI, CZ, EI ETHICS 221-01 LEC (9994) Spring 2018
ETHICS 262S-01 SEM (9919) Global Migration and Ethics CCI, CZ, EI CULANTH 216S-01 SEM (9920), ICS 244S-01 SEM (9921) Spring 2018
ETHICS 390S-02 SEM (9922) Special Topics: Field Ethics SOCIOL 290S-02 SEM (9923) Spring 2018
ETHICS 390S-03 SEM (9924) Special Topics: Refugee Policy and Practice ICS 290S-02 SEM (9925), POLSCI 390S-2-02 SEM (9926) Spring 2018