Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars

Guests, Neighbors, Enemies: Xenophobia, Xenophilia, and the Other in Europe Today

01:090:293:02 Index# 12064
Professor Parvis Ghassem-Fachan, SAS - Anthropology
M 12:35P - 01:55P 
TH 12:35P - 01:55P
Hickman Hall, Rm. 129
Douglass Campus


Course WILL count for major or minor credit in Anthropology

The contemporary world refugee crisis––estimated at 65 million people––has increased anxieties about the presence of the foreign in many parts of the world. This crisis is reconfiguring the world by reorganizing what can count as friend, foe and various ambiguous categories in between: guests that do not leave (e.g. migrants), neighbors that can’t be trusted, and enemies that reside within. Such identification through fear have manifested in anti-immigrant and religiously motivated national exclusionary movements, discrimination, political party competition, racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, internal purging, and even massacres. This course examines the socio-psychology of both xenophilia (welcoming the foreign) and xenophobia (fear of the foreign), focusing on the modification of projections and the changing nature of its object in Germany. It will also include forays into contemporary Danish, Dutch, and French reactions to the foreign as well in order to have a larger picture of the transformations gripping Europe at this time.

PARVIS GHASSEM-FACHAN, is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. He received a Magister in Ethnologie in 1998 at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), and a PhD from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY (USA), in 2006. He taught at Princeton University in 2006 and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Religion and Media at New York University in 2007. In 2012 -2013 he was fellow as the Institut d'Études Avancées de Nantes, France. He has conducted ethnographic field research in Gibraltar, the US, and India on topics including ritual, religious labor, violence, nationalism, and disgust. He is the editor of Violence: Ethnographic Encounters (Berg Press, 2009). He is the author of Muslimische Heilige in Gujarat: Sufismus, Synkretismus, und Praxis im westlichen Indien (Editio Cortis Aquilae, 2008) and Pogrom in Gujarat: Hindu Nationalism and Anti-Muslim Violence in India (Princeton University Press, 2012).