Understanding Immigration: Global and Local Perspectives (BGSU 1910)
In spring 2017, Dr. Vibha Bhalla and Dr. Christina Guenther received a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to build up a certificate program in Migration Studies at BGSU.
One of the first steps of this initiative was to offer three 1-credit courses for incoming freshmen that dealt with the complex phenomenon of migration. The course taught by Dr. Bhalla (Ethnic Studies) focused on "Immigrant Ohio" in order to explore how the Midwest (in addition to the East and West Coasts) has also been shaped by a multitude of cultures. The class contributed to the "Immigrant Ohio: Refugees, Past and Present" conference, which brought together community members who themselves have experienced flight from conflict and the challenges of creating a new life for themselves in a new context. A photo exhibit on refugee camps by Tariq Tarey is on display until April 2018 in Jerome Library.
A second course, taught by Dr. Nicole Jackson (History), focused on the coerced domestic migration in the United States: "The Great Second Migration" of African-Americans from the South to the northern Midwest.
The two "wings" of this virtual museum emerged through the third BGSU 1910 course, which was team-taught by Dr. Beatrice Guenther (World Languages & Cultures/French) and Dr. Christina Guenther (World Languages & Cultures/German). This third course examined how both the U.S. and Europe were and continue to be shaped by the flux of human mobility. The use of technology associated with the Digital Humanities allowed students to create their own artefacts for public display.
The "Welcome to Ohio" wing focuses on archival materials from Jerome Library (BGSU), which were kindly made available by the BGSU librarians: Stefanie Hunker (Popular Culture); Megan Goins-Diouf and Michelle Sweetser (Center for Archival Collections); Susannah Cleveland (Music Library). The "contemporary wing" highlights "Snapshots 2015-2017" in an attempt to make sense of and commemorate our contemporary moment.