Living with Gypsies: Visual Journeys

Ethel Brooks (Women's and Gender Studies)

Most people know Romanis as “Gypsies” – as fortunetellers, thieves, and nomads on one hand, and as free spirits, dancers, and musicians on the other. Living as a travelling community without fixed borders, Romanis have often been seen as a national disruption. This negative stereotype paves the way for violence against Romani people – from enslavement in Romania, to the genocide of the Holocaust, and even to current campaigns of forced sterilization, mass fingerprinting, and firebombing. In this seminar, through an in-depth exploration of their everyday life and culture, we’ll explore why Romanis have so often been viewed as perpetual outsiders and what it might mean to “be” a Romani. We’ll examine readings, films, and online resources; and also take a field trip to either the Gypsy Human Rights Film Festival or the Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 08 index 28102