Spring 2021 - WL 304 D100

Exile and Migration (4)

Class Number: 6377

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani
    1 778 782-8761
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Explores the culture of peoples and individuals displaced by force or migrating by choice. May focus on the literary cultures of exiles and emigres or on the depiction of refugees, immigrants or exiles. Breadth-Humanities.


“For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live” - Adorno.

With the passage of every minute twenty more people are forced to leave their home as a result of imminent conflict or persecution, according to the latest figures of the UN Refugee Agency. These figures are in addition to the already 65 million people forcibly displaced in the world today. With political conflicts, environmental disasters, and limited natural and economic resources brewing around the globe, exile and migration continue to be part of our foreseeable future.

Considering that some of the most significant figures in world literature experienced exile (i.e. Aristotle, Ovid, Dante, Voltaire, Nabokov, Darwish etc.), and that some of the most fascinating works of world literature were composed in exile, what is it that we can learn from writers who ponder its plight and possibilities?  In exploring this question, we will consider exile not only as a physical uprooting, but also in the intellectual sense as a state characterized by movement, anxiety, being unsettled and unsettling.

PLEASE NOTE: Half of the course will be conducted asynchronously and half of it synchronously. To account for attendance for the synchronous portion all students are required to be present on camera in Zoom during the set scheduled class times. Students must also enrol in the asynchronous tutorial section. Students will have asynchronous work that they must complete in their own time. 


  • Midterm Paper (first 10% + final draft 20%) 30%
  • Final Paper (first 10% + final draft 20%) 40%
  • Participation 10%
  • Art Project 5%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Community Project 5%



Readings available online.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).