People all over the world are on the move, but move differently based on identity, economy, community and opportunity. This program introduces students to West African culture and society with a focus on Senegal. We will study in the capital city of Dakar and travel through the country using migration, community and storytelling as our thematic and critical lens. The name Senegal actually comes from a Wolof phrase which translates as “our boat.” This phrase reflects a historical link to artisanal fishing communities whose inhabitants journeyed far and wide in wooden pirogues in search of fish for families back at home. It also refers to the stories of these ancient mariners, stories that continue to circulate through contemporary Senegalese culture as widely as the boats once did across Atlantic waters.
Throughout our journey we will ask many broad questions: Why do folks leave their families and communities to start life anew elsewhere? How do colonial relationships of the past and neoliberal economies in our present influence where and how people around the world migrate? How do people create stories about leaving home and making a new home in another land?
From this broad framework we will speak about migration, community and storytelling as it plays out specifically in Senegal. Some questions that will guide our discussions include: how have recent changes in global migration laws influenced Senegalese migration to Europe and the United States? How does leaving family behind reinforce or reshape one’s political, religious, and social identity moving forward? And through all these goings and comings, how do people make sense of and story themselves? Might we think of migration stories as both narratives of social solidarity and points of tension and resistance?
- CHID 473 Migration, Community and Storytelling in Senegal (5 Credits)
*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance ($2/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.