MDST 366

Trauma and Resilience: Global Media Representations of Migration

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 6, 2020 – May 5, 2021

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course analyzes the representation of immigrants/refugees in film, fiction and news media globally and in the U.S. Drawing from theories of postcolonial and anti-colonial studies, students will critique how film and literature fictively represent migrants of color and contrast these with news media stories, backed up with research into scholarly sources. Significant focus is given to issues of racism, including how these affect push factors resulting from trauma and pull factors related to hope and resilience as well as experiences of continued discrimination as depicted in the three media. Further, students will compare and contrast material about migrants by American and European film makers/authors with works by people from migrant communities to investigate the racist vestiges of colonialist power and artistic efforts to prioritize stories from the perspective of migrants themselves. Students will grapple with the complexities of contrasting themes related to racism and immigration from theoretical and real-life perspectives

Learning outcomes


  • Know, understand and apply concepts of critical analysis to film, literature and news.
  • Know, understand and apply the vocabulary related to migration in analytical discussions, reflections, research papers and presentations.
  • Critique the role of media ¿ film, literature and news ¿ in depicting experiences of migrants before, during and after migration.
  • Examine how the power held by the so-called global north in its imposed relations with the global south affects migration as depicted in film, literature and the news media and has resulted in and perpetuates racism.
  • Understand and articulate how identity is shaped and changes. Critique the differences in assumptions about and representations of identity as conveyed by American/European producers/writers and those from cultures of origin.
  • Analyze and articulate how media have prioritized colonial perspectives and have reflected and created power structures resulting in construction of racism.
  • Increase ability to imagine and empathize with situations of migrants while avoiding stereotyping that leads to either condemnation or glorification.
  • Critique how the artistic act of producing/writing is in itself a sign of resilience. Analyze ambivalence, ruptures and resulting hybridity as portrayed in the three media by producers and writers from migrant communities that thus convey the complexities of displacement, transition, alienation and belonging.
  • Use upper level research skills to support and enhance analyses and critiques of film, literature and news media depictions of immigrants.

Spring 2021

Section Title Instructor
50 Trauma and Resilience: Global Media Representations of Migration Moskow, Michal A Course details