The history of humanity is the history of Exile. It is a story of banishment, dislocation and transplantation. Its beginning is marked by the expulsion of Adam and Eve. Its end, however, is nowhere in sight. A human activity that extends to ancient times, exile in the modern era has become an increasingly common experience shared by millions of people. Facilitated by centuries of warfare, political oppression, natural disasters, and economic collapses, exile has had an enormous impact not only on individuals who have undergone transplantation from one culture to another, but also on the host societies they have joined and the ones they left behind. Because of the large number of people affected by exile and its wide ranging impact on both individuals and communities, the exile phenomenon merits comprehensive, multi-disciplinary study. Situated in Miami, a truly natural laboratory of exile, Florida International University is an ideal place where the study of exile and its consequences can be pursued with intellectual vigor and scholarly integrity.
Anchored in Literary Studies, the Certificate in Exile Studies provides grounds for entry into the realm of otherness and assists students in gaining a clearer understanding of self and world. Through the reading of literary texts created by exiled authors from around the world and by contextualizing the phenomenon of exile through the lenses of scholarly disciplines such as Religious Studies, Political Science, International Relations, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Modern Languages, Film Studies, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Linguistics, Modern Languages, Architecture and Art History, the program suggests venues for comprehending both human differences and commonalities. It synthesizes and particularizes the rich and often traumatic experiences of transplantation and helps build bridges across geographical divides, ideological divergences, and cultural disparities.