CLAS Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Briana Nichols will be teaching a new course this spring term on Mexican and Central American Migration themes.


This seminar will track both the shifts and continuities in migration from Mexico and Central America.  Taking the U.S. framing of migration across the southern border as a “crisis” as our starting point, we will work to complicate this “crisis” framing, interrogating the political, economic and social conditions that have generated the emergence and persistence of migration within and from Mexico and Central America.  We will explore the mobility of Central American and Mexican peoples following the work of anthropologists, historians, geographers, and political scientists but also through film, art and music. 

Though a focus on one specific region, this course covers several topics related to migration and mobility including: border construction and militarization, life along the migrant pathway, the political economies of migration, interfamilial bonds and transnational forms of care, racialization, colonialism, citizenship and national identities, environmental change, social violence, as well as the construction and management of migrant categories.  We will consider broad questions over the course of the semester, like, how do individuals, families, and communities produce and make sense of the new forms of existence brought forth by migration? Who has the right to migrate, and conversely, what would a right of non-migration might look like? What responsibilities do nation-states have towards mobile peoples?  And how might continued human mobility reframe how we understand belonging and rootedness?