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Comparing Present and Past in the Migration Classroom

Lindsey A. Mazurek

University of Oregon

Over the last three years I have developed an upper division course on Migration in the Classical World and taught it to students at two different universities. My approach incorporates discussions of modern migration, particularly discussions of the US-Mexico border and migrations to Greece in the 21st century to help students read ancient evidence in a more sensitive and informed manner. I begin the course with a short paper that asks students to read articles about contemporary migration and migrants and analyze the language used. This assignment helps students understand the importance of precise and accurate terminology and the difficulties of analyzing evidence of migration. Throughout the rest of the course we apply these lessons to an attempt to construct a shared critical vocabulary of ancient migration. These past and present approaches, then, offer us a way to help students see the stakes of ancient history and engage more productively with scholarly concerns like terminology and conceptual models.

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Beyond Reception: Addressing Issues of Social Justice in the Classroom with Modern Comparisons

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