The Course at a Glance

According to the United Nation Refugee Agency’s most recent report (2018), an estimated one in every 108 people on earth has either been displaced within his/her country or is a refugee. In fact, world-wide, an estimated 37,000 people are displaced every day. By the end of 2018, an estimated 70.8 million made their way to the United States. Those figures do not include non-refugees, who come to the United States with visas to study, permits to work and to reconnect with family members. Each person brings his/her story into the United States, connecting his/her story with myriads of other stories, as s/he weaves his/her unique story into the overall fabric of the United States. While doing so, many have become storytellers who have inspired an emerging subgenre of fiction – short stories of the diaspora.

              English 2001, “Home Away from Home, Stories of the Diaspora”, provides the opportunity to study short stories composed by four such storytellers. Through these stories readers enter into the unsettling experiences of characters as they struggle through the stages of creating a “home away from home”. Each author is from a different country in a different region of the world.  Each country of origin this term is one from which the some of the highest numbers of people have immigrated to the United States in the 21st century. They are also countries with the highest numbers of immigrants that reside in the State of New York. – Africa (Nigeria), Asia (India), Europe (Russia), and Latin America (the Dominican Republic).  The authors are Chimamanda Ngozi Adici, Neel Patel, Lara Vapnyor and Junot Diaz.  


Guide to this Open Educational Resource (OER)

The course will devote one week to each author. The term essay will require selecting a different set of short stories by one of the four authors, and writing a 5-7 page critical review of the selected stories. The content of the review should be based on the questions posed in Worksheet A posted in the Open Educational Resource text that is posted in the Open Lab. For more details about the course assignments and the course calendar, see the course syllabus posted on the course site in the Open Lab.

Access the introduction to the course, the syllabus, and the menus for each of the main units at the course site.

·       One unit is devoted to each author being studied.

·       Each unit consists of an overview, the historical background, information about the author being studied, a unit calendar and information about other diasporic authors from the author’s home country and/or region. The unit also contains. Worksheet A, which aids in preparing to participate on the “Literary Circles” panels.

·       The menus on the course site provide tabs for easy access to all of the above.