Skip to main content


Refugee Migration from Central America: Perspectives from Anthropology - Canceled

Department:  Anthropology               
Instructors: David Lindstrom 
Instructor's Email:
Prerequisites: None
Dates: July 7 - July 27

Course Description

Why do mothers and young children, unaccompanied adolescents, and other desperate refugees embark on long, dangerous, and clandestine journeys from their homelands to the United States? How do these journeys connect to the vegetables we eat and the coffee we drink, a boat collision and drownings at Black’s Beach, undocumented students at UCSD, a warming climate, the mass incarceration of poor people of color, tattoos and brotherhood, a Jesuit radio station, and the murder of indigenous activists in Honduras? In this course we will untangle the webs of relationships that link our region and our university to forced migration from Central America. Join me as we examine the economic, political, human, and historical aspects of migration from the perspective of anthropology—the holistic science of what it means to be human. In our class you will discover something of your own connections to humans who live the most abject and difficult of lives, how these humans persevere and maintain hope, and ways that you can help them.

Why you should take this course

Migration between Central America, Mexico, and the United States is intimately linked to our own lives. Migration touches everything—people, governments, consciousnesses, land, and power. Therefore, by studying migration we come to understand many kinds of human experience: why people go from place, how migrants view human movements and themselves, and how identities, economics, and human experiences move and change across the lands of North America and, in particular, the San Diego region. In class, students will collaboratively read important works in the anthropology of migration, with a particular focus on works that describe how the city of San Diego and UCSD interact with migration.

Learning Outcome

Student will: 

  • gain understandings of the history of migration between Central America, Mexico, and the United States
  • acquire reading and writing skills for that will help them in future studies at the university
  • develop new arguments about migration
  • debate ideas and theories in a seminar format

Course Topic 

  • Cultural anthropology as a science
  • Histories of Central America and Mexico
  • Family and child migration from Central America
  • Connections of migration to UCSD and San Diego
  • Lived experiences of migrants and refugees



*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students. Courses have been modified for online teaching.