students studying together with their computers

Core 101: Migration, Displacement, and Cultural Resilience

July 10-August 4, 2023

Open to all incoming Oxy frosh 

FREE —all tuition costs & course materials covered by the Mellon Humanities for Just Communities grant

Course Description

In summer 2023, the HJC summer virtual course will introduce students to the range of ways Humanities disciplines—including Black Studies, History, Media Arts & Culture, Spanish, and Religious Studies—study the migration and displacement of people. Equipped with analytical frames from these fields, students will explore:

  • How perceptions of communities--including immigrants--are inextricably tied to language;
  • How and why food has shaped the collective experiences and identities of migrant communities, and formed the basis of migrant rights projects in California;
  • The complex connected histories of Asian migration with histories of slavery, emancipation, and exclusion in the United States and globally; 
  • The exploration of the concept of "alien" and the word's curious doubleness in relation to extraterrestrial creatures and foreigners; and
  • The ways in which ancient Jewish communities' history of displacement is the key to understanding their identity, their relationship with their G-d, and their persistent hope and expectation for liberation; and  
  • How centering the experience of migration in African American history challenges common assumptions about Black life and culture in the United States.

Enrolling in the summer course is a way for you to get to know other Oxy frosh before arriving on campus and to earn 1-unit toward your Oxy degree for FREE!

Course Structure

The course will be divided into 8 “modules,” 2 per week. Each module will be focused on a different topic and taught by a different faculty member. For each module, students will watch a recorded lecture, complete an assigned reading, write an initial response to the lecture/reading, and engage in a virtual discussion group with the faculty member and classmates. 

Students will need access to the internet in order to stream the lectures and to participate in virtual discussion groups twice a week.

Course Requirements

Students will earn a “Credit” grade for a 1-unit elective if they complete all of the following: 

  • Attend the peer mentor-led introductory discussion group 
  • Complete at least 5 (out of 6) faculty-led modules
  • Complete a social media assignment
  • Attend the peer mentor-led final discussion group & complete the final reflection



Contact Humanities for Just Communities
Rithika Mukerjee-Mora

Mellon Grants Administrator