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Xenophobia, Xenophilia, and the Other in Europe

Examine the socio-psychology of both welcoming the foreign and fear of the foreign in Berlin, a once divided city with a radical history of xenophobia and xenophilia.

Xenophobia, Xenophilia, and the Other in Europe
June 10 – July 19, 2019
CIEE Global Institute, Berlin

John Borneman, professor of anthropology and director of the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society

The contemporary world refugee crisis –– an estimated 65 million displaced peoples –– has increased anxieties about the presence of the foreign in many parts of the world. Identification through fear of the foreign is 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) by entering into the dreamscape of others to understand how projections are stabilized or modified. It will also introduce students to the ethnographic method of participant observation by engaging in cultural encounters outside the classroom.

The seminar will be held in Berlin, a once divided city with a radical history of xenophobia and xenophilia. Class meetings will be supplemented by field trips both within and around Berlin and to Vienna, Austria.

This seminar fulfills the social analysis (SA) general education requirement.