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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Teaching Im/migration through an Ethnographic Portrait Project

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

The Im/migrant Ethnographic Portrait Project was designed for introductory cultural anthropology courses and has a threefold aim: 1) to familiarize students with research methods, 2) to facilitate students’ deeper understanding of migration by connecting course readings with a hands-on project, and 3) to humanize im/migrants by bringing students into one-on-one conversations where they will hear a person’s story in their own words. To support students’ success with this semester-long project and to ensure (as far as is possible) that no harm is done, we provide instruction and feedback through a series of progressive assignments. In this essay we explain each of these steps before concluding with remarks about the challenges and benefits of teaching this project.


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