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Photo by Maria Höhn

A Lexicon of Forced Migration, Spring 2021

“A Lexicon of Forced Migration” is a course taught by Vassar, Bard, Bennington, and Sarah Lawrence colleges to explore the fundamental themes of and definitions within forced migration studies. At Vassar, this course is the first requirement of the Migration and Displacement Studies Correlate Sequence. In Spring 2021, this course was co-taught between Vassar and Bennington colleges, allowing students to learn together remotely, host an expansive virtual speaker series, and collaborate on small-group research projects. Some of these collaborative research projects have been published in the Selective Bibliography of Forced Migration.

Refugees and Urban Space

Refugees and Urban Space was taught remotely via Zoom in Spring 2021 by Ayham Dalal, a Syrian scholar and architect who is currently working in Berlin (website). The course examined refugee housing and the production of new urban spaces by local and international actors working to assist refugees. Students explored the impact of refugees on urban space. More specifically, they looked at how refugees act as architects and city-makers within the different contexts of displacements, and how they utilize their knowledge on space to produce new hybrid urbanities within settings characterized by permanent temporariness and precariousness.

Germany 1945: History and Memory in Germany after WWII

This course was taught by Vassar professor Maria Höhn in the spring of 2018 for seven Vassar College students and six refugee youth located in Berlin (who were part of the German student-founded Schüler Treffen Flüchtlinge, or Students Meeting Refugees, initiative). Classes were held on Zoom and allowed the students in both New York and Berlin to learn together while highlighting and visiting (for Vassar students, visiting virtually) sites of commemoration in Berlin’s rich landscape of memorial culture.