Previous Courses

Below is an archive of previous undergraduate and graduate migrations-related courses that were offered in affiliation with the UBC Centre for Migration Studies.

Previous Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2020

POLI 328C(3): Topics in Comparative Politics
Instructor: Antje Ellermann
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

This course provides students with the analytical tools to understand the dynamics driving the politics of immigration in advanced democracies, focusing mostly on Canada, the United States, and Western Europe. The first part of the course examines the dynamics driving cross-border migration. Part Two investigates the factors that shape the making of immigration policy. In Part Three we engage with the normative question of whether liberal democracies should have the right to close their borders to migrants. Part Four grapples with the challenge of immigration control. We take a look at how states try to control their borders and what the consequences of these control efforts have been. In the final part of the course we focus our attention on the politics of integration. What is the meaning of citizenship, and why do the rules governing the acquisition of citizenship vary across countries? We will examine the economic, social, and cultural integration of immigrants and grapple with the challenges that linguistic and religious diversity poses to host societies.

This course has an optional Community Service Learning (CSL) component which allows a limited number of students to complete a placement in community organizations serving immigrants and refugees.Syllabus to come.

LAW 377.001: Immigration Law
Instructor: Asha Kaushal
Days and times TBC

Immigration law determines who gets into Canada and on what terms. This course will examine the framework for entry, residence, and citizenship established by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Students will learn the criteria for the various immigration classes. Topics will include: family immigration, skilled workers, international students, temporary foreign workers, provincial nominee programs, criminal and medical inadmissibility, and removals (including detention and deportation). We will also examine the intersection between immigration law and other fields of law such as constitutional law. This course focuses primarily on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations and case law, but attention will be paid throughout to the historical, philosophical, and normative aspects of immigration law. Students will be asked to think critically about how immigration law treats different classes of people.

Law 378C covers refugee law. The two courses complement each other and students interested in research or practice in this field are advised to take both courses.

Evaluation: students may choose either: (a) a 100% final exam or (b) a 30% case comment and a 70% final exam.

Syllabus to come.

SOCI 303: Sociology of Migration
Instructor: Amira Halperin
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 - 2:00 pm

This course will focus on current trends and approaches to understanding migration both as a complex global phenomenon and with particular attention to Canada. We will explore migrants' communities and migrant-support organisations across Canada. Students will learn the social integration of diverse ethnic and religious groups of migrants and refugees, including women, youth, LGBT2Q, torture survivors and more. The course will explore the influence of digital technology on migrants' integration. In addition to what is learned in the classroom, students will meet refugees, NGO's and policymakers.

To view the course syllabus, please click here.

Fall 2019

GERM 302-001: German Literature after 1945: Exile, Flight, Refuge and Migration (in English)
Instructor: Markus Hallensleben
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

This undergraduate course focuses on transnational literature affected by migration. It introduces to the themes and settings of flight, refuge and (im)mobility. One part covers historical facts, cultural theories and primary sources on exile, diaspora, immigration, integration, belonging, transculturality and European cultural identity. The other part features the analysis and critical reading of select primary literature by and on immigrants and refugees, such as Bertolt Brecht’s Refugee Conversations, Ernst Heppner’s Shanghai Refuge, Zafer Şenocak’s Perilous Kinship, Navid Kermani’s Upheaval, Abbas Khider’s A Slap in the Face, the film comedy Welcome to Germany and videos by YouTube star Firas Alshater.

To view a draft of the syllabus, please click here.

POLI 328C (3): Topics in Comparitive Politics
Instructor: Salta Zhumatova
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

This course examines how contemporary liberal democracies of Western Europe and North America manage immigration and migrant integration. We will analyze current migration policies, the causes and consequences of migration, and the challenges it presents to receiving countries. The course begins with a brief historical overview of policy responses to immigration in the major receiving countries and a review of key theories of migration. The first part of the course focuses on policies and policy determinants in the main immigration areas – labour migration, asylum, family migration and irregular migration – across liberal states. The second part of the course discusses policies that seek to enable the economic, social and cultural integration of migrants into destination countries, with reference to multiculturalism, assimilation and other integration models. The course discusses both the national governance of migration and international cooperation in migration management.

Summer 2019

SOCI 303: Sociology of Migration
Instructor: Amira Halperin
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

By the end of 2017, 68.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, or generalized violence. The Syrian Arab Republic accounts for the largest forcibly displaced population globally. As of the end of 2017, there were 12.6 million forcibly displaced Syrians (UNHCR, 2017). Canada has been a country of immigration, and increasing its immigration targets (Canada's Multi - Year Immigration Plan 2018 to 2021). This course will focus on current trends and approaches to understanding migration both as a complex global phenomenon and with particular attention to Canada. We will explore migrants' communities and migrant-support organisations across Canada. Students will learn the social integration of different groups of migrants and refugees: women, youth, LGBT2Q, torture survivors and more. The course will explore the influence of technology on migrants and the citizens of the host society. Students will meet with Middle Eastern refugees, and will visit migrant-support organisations. Students will receive updated information relating to events organized by refugees and for refugees, as well as academic talks on migration.

To view the syllabus, please click here.

Spring 2019

POLI 449B 001/521A 001, Contested Territory
Instructor: Anna Jurkevics
Wednesdays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

This course surveys Western approaches to land, place, and territory. We begin with the phenomenology and economy of place through readings of Hannah Arendt, GWF Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Karl Marx, and David Harvey. Part II of the course covers theories of territory, and will address issues related to land attachment, nationalism, and the property-territory distinction. In Part III, we explore geopolitics through readings of Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt and Hans Morgenthau. In the concluding section of the course, we will consider the pathologies of the Western approach to territory by reading indigenous scholarship on land, including Glen Coulthard’s Red Skins, White Masks.

Previous Graduate Courses

Spring 2020

GERM 506B: Intercultural Competence: Narratives of Belonging
Instructor: Markus Hallensleben
Thursdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

This course is open to graduate students from all fields and focuses on narratives of belonging from an interdisciplinary cultural studies perspective. How do people relate to place? Does the question “Where are you from?” assume a linear narrative and sedentarist perspective of exclusion? How do we narratively create and perform belonging, cultural spaces, phenomenological borders, national and ethnic identities? With an emphasis on contemporary postmigrant narratives from and about refugees and immigrants in German-language literature that have become central to society and in social studies, we will investigate counter-perspectives to Eurocentric, ethnically and nationally centred visions of identity.

To view the draft course syllabus, please click here.

Fall 2019

CLST 518B: Archaeologies of Greek Mobilities, Migrations, and Diasporas 

Instructor: Franco De Angelis

Monday & Fridays, 2:30 - 4:00 pm

Mobility, migration, and diaspora have become central themes in the humanities and social sciences, and the study of the ancient Greeks as a history of movement and connectivity is no exception. Recent research has revealed an outstanding new fact: ancient Greeks may have founded over 500 “colonies” (or about one-third to one-half of the total number of Greek states in the Archaic and Classical periods), which may have been home to more than 40% of all ancient Greek population. In other words, ancient Greek mobilities and migrations represented literally the other half of story of ancient Greece. However, teaching of the subject has not kept pace with advances in research. We currently have two separate narratives of Greek history and archaeology—the older outdated one normally found in textbooks and the newer one that is the focus of this course. They need to be brought together through a diaspora perspective, in order to write an up-to-date fresh narrative history of the ancient Greek world. This seminar course fills that gap and expands the narrow story we tell about the ancient Greeks. The course is divided into two parts. In part one, we lay the groundwork for the subject with several introductory lectures and joint seminars, in which we explore together some necessary matters, such as modern constructions of narratives of ancient Greece and the importance of archaeological evidence to write the history of Greek mobilities, migrations, and diasporas. Some of the matters to be addressed can be formulated as the following questions. What are the most appropriate terminologies to be used in describing and explaining these ancient Greek mobilities, migrations, and diasporas, all of which have traditionally been labelled “colonies” and “colonization”? Is hybridity an appropriate and problem-free way to describe their cultural outcomes? Was Greek art produced outside of Greece “provincial” and “debased” or are other more apt descriptions and attitudes better suited in light of recent advances in theoretical thinking? In second part of the course, students will present their research on subjects they have chosen. Given the range of potential subject matter addressed in this course, students from various programmes will find something of interest and intellectual enrichment to their studies of the ancient world.

For additional information, please click here.

POLI 516C/GPP 591G: Debates in Migration and Citizenship
Instructor: Antje Ellermann
Wednesdays, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Human mobility has become one of the most contested issues in contemporary politics. This seminar surveys key scholarly debates in the study of migration and citizenship in political science and cognate disciplines. We comparatively examine in both historical and cross–national perspective the ways in which states and societies (particularly in the Global North) have responded to, and have become transformed by, immigration. The course covers a wide range of topics: theories of international migration and immigration regimes, theoretical approaches to migration studies, immigration and settler colonialism, the ethics of borders, migration control, public opinion on immigration, voting behaviour and populist radical right parties, the making of immigration policy, national identity and citizenship, immigrant inclusion, and multiculturalism and religion.

To view the course syllabus, please click here.

GEOG 535: An introduction to international migration and settlement
Instructor: Dan Hiebert
Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

This course is designed to introduce a broad set of issues and approaches to the study of international migration and settlement. The first part of the course will survey a number of key concepts and theories of migration, with emphasis on the role of the state and regulatory systems—that it, how migration policies are framed and operationalized. We will also consider the relationship between national security and migration, an issue that has arisen in the wake of 9-11 and other terrorist incidents. The second part will concentrate on elements connecting places of origin and destination, and will explore key debates in countries of sustained migrant settlement, particularly Europe where we will consider the relationship between migration and the national (or supra-national) imaginary, as well as the relationship between asylum, human rights, and attempts to regulate (supra)national borders. Finally, the course will close on the question of integration policies and processes, particularly the recent challenges to the idea of multiculturalism (which was so widely supported a generation ago), and the concern that has arisen over the relationship between diversity and social cohesion.

To view the course syllabus, please click here.

EDST 565A 81: Migration and Adult Education
Instructor: Hongxia Shan
Wednesdays, 4:30 - 7:30 pm

“All the world seems to be on the move” (Urry, 2006, p. 207). Asylum seekers, professionals, guest workers, undocumented migrants, international students, business people, families, tourists and many others have changed the social, cultural, economic and political landscape across place. The phenomenal scale, speed, and spread of the migratory movement, coupled with the accelerating rate of globalization and technological development, has transformed how social relations are organized, performed and mobilized in the local, national, and transnational realms. It seems to have led to the formation of a connected, networked, pluralized, and according to some, decentered or flattening world. Yet, at the same time, we’ve also witnessed the entrenchment and emergence of old and new disconnects, divides, disparities and inequalities. On the one hand, the social ideal associated with immigration has shifted from assimilation, which is one-way and one sided, to integration, supposedly a two-way process, with transnationalism looming always in the horizon. On the other hand, while multiculturalism has been a major policy discourse managing immigration and diversity, much of the global west, with the exception of Canada, has moved into an era of post-multiculturalism. All these have presented unprecedented opportunity as well as challenge for adult educators and cultural workers, especially those who work in the areas of vocational education, language training, employment support, career counseling, and workplace diversity management.

This course is designed to inquire into, drawing on interdisciplinary readings and research, the changing policies, practices, pedagogies and politics of adult education and learning, vis-à-vis the context of multiple mobilities, super-diversity, and shifting social and material organization of work and life. Through this course, you will develop a critical appreciation of the context of immigration, integration, (post)-multiculturalism, and transnationalism and its impacts on adult education and learning. You will expand your understanding of the politics of skills and recognition, the complex roles that adult education and learning plays in immigrants’ work and lives, as well as the power and problems of everyday pedagogies, everyday multiculturalism and convivial (dis)integration. You will also develop a repertoire of epistemic, pedagogical and research tools and skills in approaching issues of diversity, equity, and social justice in your educational practices. This course is suited for educational practitioners and researchers who are interested in learning about and challenging the status quo of adult education and learning as it relates to issues of immigration and integration.

For additional information, please click here.

Spring 2019

POLI 516C/Global Public Policy 591G, Migration and Citizenship
Instructor: Antje Ellermann
Wednesdays, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Human mobility has become one of the most contested issues in contemporary politics. This seminar surveys key scholarly debates in the study of migration and citizenship in political science and cognate disciplines. We comparatively examine in both historical and cross–national perspective the ways in which states and societies (particularly in the Global North) have responded to, and become transformed by, immigration. The course covers a wide range of areas: theories of international migration, the ethics of borders, migration control, immigration policy making, public attitudes, anti-immigrant populism and the rise of far-right parties, refugee protection, national identity and citizenship, immigrant integration and multiculturalism, and transnationalism and homeland-hostland politics.

GERM 520C, Narratives of Migration
Instructor: Markus Hallensleben
Thursdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

This course focuses on narratives of migration from a comparative studies point of view. It aims to provide an interdisciplinary framework for the investigation of transnational literature within the wider context of the global mobility turn and critical European Studies, with a special emphasis on the most recent German-language post-migration literature that appeared since the European “refugee crisis” in 2015. While one part of the course will utilize the sociological concepts of post-migration and superdiverse societies for an analysis of literary narratives as counter-narratives to Eurocentric, ethnically and nationally centred models of belonging, another part will investigate select primary texts. This course is taught in English with a directed study approach, including portfolio components in preparation for the final essay. The course is open to graduate students from all fields who work on narratives of migration in any context, whether in theory or praxis. Students are welcome to incorporate their own research and will present on at least one course related topic based on their own annotated working bibliographies.

Fall 2018

GEOG 535, An Introduction to International Migration and Settlement
Instructor: Dan Hiebert
Wednesdays, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

This course is designed to introduce a broad set of issues and approaches to the study of international migration and settlement. The first part of the course will survey a number of key concepts and theories of migration, with emphasis on the role of the state and regulatory systems—that is, how migration policies are framed and operationalized. We will also consider the relationship between national security and migration, an issue that has arisen in the wake of 9-11 and other terrorist incidents. The second will concentrate on elements connecting places of origin and destination. The third will explore key debates in countries of sustained migrant settlement, particularly Europe where we will consider the relationship between migration and the national (or supra-national) imaginary, as well as the relationship between asylum, human rights, and attempts to regulate (supra)national borders. Finally, the course will close on the question of integration policies, particularly the recent challenges to the idea of multiculturalism (which was so widely supported a generation ago), and the concern that has arisen over the relationship between diversity and social cohesion.

FRENCH 512 (cross-listed with SPAN 501), Introduction to Mobility Studies
Instructor: Gaoheng Zhang
Wednesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

This course will introduce Mobility Studies in relation to case studies focused on several mobile subjects—namely, merchants, explorers, tourists, colonizers, pilgrims, and migrants—within Italian, French, and Chinese contexts. As an umbrella social theory, Mobility Studies provides a new paradigm to explain significant social phenomena, which range from social inequality to global climate change, all of which are related to movements. Our course will contribute to cultural analysis of mobilities by exploring how to use this paradigm to frame major intercultural events (e.g., the Age of Discovery, the Grand Tour, and migrations) as they are articulated in narratives of diverse types (e.g., novels, journalism, diaries, and films). In particular, we will consider the motivations, knowledge, technologies, affects, meanings, and power relations of narratives of these movements.

Other Courses

MD615F20A: Migration and Displacement
Online
Sept 17 - Oct 30, 2020

Take a comprehensive look at migration as a form of displacement of peoples across the globe. Consider how contemporary migration is collapsing boundaries and changing how we think about the "First World" and the "Third World." Explore the root causes of forced migration and how this is directly linked to survival, including the livelihood and well-being of families, communities and remittance-dependent economies. Take a critical look at present global policies, initiatives and alternatives to forced migration.

For more information, please click here.

ANTH 540C: Mobilities and Immobilities
Instructor: Alexia Bloch
2020-2021 academic year

Over the past 20 years anthropologists have extensively studied the implications of intensified forms of mobility for local communities, families, individuals and the cultural production in which they are enmeshed, often being attentive to how gender and sexuality inflect the experience of migration. Increasingly anthropologists are joining other social scientists in asking critical questions around social policy and the cultural assumptions that inform how states and communities decide who —e.g., temporary workers, permanent residents, exotic dancers, agricultural laborers, or non-citizen children—belongs and what forms of mobility will be embraced. As we examine key texts in the study of migration and transnational mobility (and immobility), we will consider how the possibility to cross borders, a sense of belonging, and questions of citizenship are intertwined. As we consider how forms of connection, intimacy, emotional labor, and family structures have shifted with transnational flows of labor and concomitant newly contested border crossing, we will also closely examine the forms of governance impeding mobility. We will be especially concerned with the following theoretical and methodological issues: ethnographic approaches to understanding changing ideals around mobility, citizenship, gender, sexuality, home and family; transnational cultural productions; the politics of care, and state and state-like efforts to police gendered flows of productive and reproductive labor from Asia and the Pacific, North Africa, and the former Soviet Union to other parts of the world.

For more information, please click here.

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