COOL CLASSES: “Immigration and Representation”

This course, one of Haverford’s first-year writing seminars, reads both literature and social science texts focused on issues around immigration.

Class name: “Immigration and Representation”

Taught by: Visiting Assistant Professor of English Nimisha Ladva


Here’s what Ladva had to say about her class:

We look at immigration using both a humanities and social science lens. Lenses can focus and magnify—or even distort—but can also be limited and have blindspots. By reading literature that represents immigration, like memoirs and short stories, and also looking at the work of economists and sociologists, and exploring current events, I’m co-creating a dynamic understanding about immigration with my students. I hope students leaving the class will have a multidimensional, flexible, and informed view about immigration and be able to examine the assumptions that create community and conflict in the immigrant experience both in the U.S. and abroad.

Students in "Immigration and Representation" present posters in class.
Students in “Immigration and Representation” present posters in class. Photo: Patrick Montero





I created this course for first year students because, in a way, they are immigrants to a new place, too. In this case, Haverford. I think that “fish-out-of-water” experience of being a new student here provides a perfect opening to learn about immigration. And I think as a country, we have to learn about how we, as a nation, as individuals, as family members, think about immigration—which is different from learning about the history of immigration. Plus, I wanted to take on a topic that might feel scary or intimidating or full of the dangers of “saying the wrong thing” and make it a constructive—and fun—learning experience.


See what other courses the Writing Program is offering this semester.

Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience.