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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Fall 2003

ANT 324L • Magic Cities: Cultural Migration in Europe-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26925 MWF
12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Course Description

Theories on migration mainly focus on people on the move for economical or political reasons: because of unemployment, hunger, persecution, oppression. In these approaches, people who move voluntarily for other reasons are often neglected. Likewise, they always convey an idea of displacement, of people leaving home and endeavoring into the unknown; however, many people leave because they feel alienated at home and at home somewhere else. In this course we will focus exactly on places that have attracted people from many parts of the world for other reasons, such as the search for personal or spiritual freedom, for the possibility to experience new ways of living, for desire and longing. Although these motivations are always linked to some degree to politics and economy, they cannot be reduced to them. The attractiveness these places offer has varied over time (e.g. West-Berlin has been a main center for cultural migration prior to reunification, and Prague has become so in the mid-90s). Often, these places have become mythified through literature and films, media which have kept the myths alive and functioned as lighthouses for new migrants in later times (such as in the case of Tangier in Morocco).

The seminar offers a theoretical grounding of migration theories, of longing and desire, but the main focus will be on special cities in Central Europe (Berlin, Prague, Paris), but - for comparison - we will also (although to a smaller degree) learn about places outside (such as San Francisco, Goa, and Tangier).


Borneman, John: Belonging in the two Berlins: Kin, State, Nation. Cambridge University Press, 1992. Preston, John (Ed.): Hometowns. Plume Book 1991 Finlayson, Iain: Tangier: City of the Dream. Harper Collins, 1992.


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