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Carne viva: Engaging Simulations on Immigration in Iowa
Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies (2012)
  • Jennifer Cooley, University of Northern Iowa
  • Karen S. Mitchell, University of Northern Iowa
  • Juane Casas
  • Jonathan Santo
This article reports on innovative methods to explore the human impact of immigration policies. In particular it highlights how the personal stories of Guatemalan migrants affected by the May, 2008 ICE raid in Postville, Iowa were developed into classroom activities and compelling community performances to create social engagement around issues related to immigration. The article documents the production of several simulations (interactive performance events) that cast participants in the roles of an array of community members in various settings where immigration can be a source of tension. By living the experiences of different elements of society, participants were drawn to explore their own roles in real life in the context of their own communities. According to the documented responses of participants, we find that within the parameters of the simulation, individuals "live" the complexity of a rapidly-diversifying population and become acutely aware of the ramifications of a system of laws and social norms that often tend to dehumanize migrants.
  • Immigration,
  • Postville,
  • ICE Raid,
  • Agriprocessors,
  • Classroom Simulation,
  • Role-playing
Publication Date
April, 2012
Citation Information
Jennifer Cooley, Karen S. Mitchell, Juane Casas and Jonathan Santo. "Carne viva: Engaging Simulations on Immigration in Iowa" Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2012) p. 77 - 92 ISSN: 1549-9502
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