Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars

Race, Intimacies & Border-Crossing

01:090:296:06 Index# 19986
Professor Louisa Schein, SAS - Anthropology
T 02:15P - 05:15P
Ruth Adams Building, Rm 209A
Douglass/Cook Campus


Course WILL count for major or minor credit in Anthropology

In recent decades there has been a dramatic increase in people crossing borders to form families, engage in sex, or find work in other’s households. This course takes a close look at what it means for the most intimate of relationships to be formed at a transnational scale. How do people engage in emotional and/or sexual intimacy across barriers of culture, language, class, and race? What does this do to love, intimacy and domestic life? What kinds of stigma, exploitation or inequality might be generated through the globalization of intimacy? How is race challenged or reinforced through border-crossing? How do race and racism intersect with immigration and anti-immigrant movements? We will examine several of the most common of these types of relationship, including: sex tourism, trafficking in women and children, international domestic work, transnational adoption, interracial marriage, and so-called “mail-order brides.” We will investigate the difference it makes to definitions of kinship, family, romance, sexuality, gender, racial identity, health and other personal domains when people cross borders to form intimacies. Readings will be interdisciplinary – from social science, ethnography, literature and humanities. We will view many feature and documentary films.

LOUISA SCHEIN teaches in Anthropology and in Women’s and Gender Studies. She specializes in Chinese and in Asian American race, gender and cultural politics. A co-founder of the minor in Critical Sexuality Studies, she teaches sexuality from a global perspective as it interacts with race, gender, class and nationality. She also does research on minorities, diaspora and media, and on immigrants, gender and violence.