Previous Courses

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

ANTH 540C: Mobilities and Immobilities
Instructor: Alexia Bloch

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.

ACAM 300: Dis/Oreinting Asian Canada
Instructor: Laura Ishiguro

The histories, cultures, social dynamics, and life experiences of Asian communities in Canada in the context of global migrations. Restricted to students with second year status or higher.

ACAM 320B: Selected Topics in ACAM Studies - ACAM CDN HEALTH
Instructor: Benjamin Cheung

Selected Asian Canadian Asian Migration topics. Consult for this year's offerings.

ACAM 320C: Selected Topics in ACAM Studies - COMM & CLTR
Instructor: Christopher Lee

Selected Asian Canadian Asian Migration topics. Consult for this year's offerings.

AFST 370A: Literatures and Cultures of Africa and/or the Middle East - LIT CULT AFRC ME
Instructor: Suzzane James

Literary and cultural works from Africa; some sections include Africa and the Middle East. Multiple perspectives on local, national, and global issues including colonialism, migration, transnationalism, education, art and politics. May include fiction, poetry, drama, digital media, and other forms. Consult department website for current year's offerings.

AFST 450R: African Diasporic Culture in African Canadian Communities - DIASPORIC CULTUR
Instructor: Calisto Mudzingwa

African diasporic culture in Canadian society, fostering dialogue with members of African Canadian communities on cultural values, traditions, memory, adaptation and change.

ASIA 410: International Relations in Premodern East Asia
Instructor: Nam-lin Hur

International relations, particularly between Korea and Japan in the premodern East Asian context, focusing on migration, trade, diplomacy, war, collective memory, mutual perceptions, and the context of the Sinocentric international order.

CENS 104: Canadian Monuments to Central and Eastern European History
Instructor: Florian Gassner

Structural monuments and sites dedicated to the history of an immigration from Central and Eastern Europe in Canada and their influence on Canadian cultures of remembrance.

CLST 404B: Seminar in the Reception of the Classical World
Instructor: Franco De Angelis

Selected topics in the reception of the ancient Mediterranean, Near Eastern and/or Egyptian cultures from their own times to the present, with an emphasis on research.

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

Instructor: Franco De Angelis

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.

ECON 335: Fertility, Families and Human Migration
Instructor: Marina Adshade

Traditional fertility and mortality patterns, demographic transition, catastrophes, well-being and nutrition, international and internal migration, epidemics and growth spurts.

EDST 565A 81: Migration and Adult Education
Instructor: Hongxia Shan

“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.

ENGL 371: Asian Canadian and/or Asian Transnational Studies
Instructor: Christopher Lee

An interdisciplinary engagement with literature in the context of Asian migrations in Canadian and other transnational locations. Consult Department for current year's offerings. Credit will be granted for up to 6 credits of ENGL 371 and/or 480.

ENGL 375: Global South Connections
Instructor: Kavita Philip

Literary and cultural networks relating to societies in the Global South; may address areas such as colonization, decolonization, nationalism, social movements, forced and voluntary migrations of peoples, cultural hybridity, translation, and globalization. Consult department website for current year's offerings.

FRENCH 512 (cross-listed with SPAN 501), Introduction to Mobility Studies
Instructor: Gaoheng Zhang

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.

GEOG 353: Geographies of Migration and Settlement
 Daniel Joseph Hiebert & Jemima Baada (2022W)

Theoretical and applied perspectives on international migration and settlement.  Includes analysis of: international regulation of migration; changing global demographics and their impact on migration; immigration policies of nation states; international migration patterns; settlement policies and outcomes; Canadian immigration policy.

GEOG 535: International Migration and Settlement
Instructor: Daniel Joseph Hiebert

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.

GERM 206: Exile, Flight and Migration (in English)
InstructorMarkus Hallensleben

This course aims to introduce to the current themes and historical settings of exile, flight and migration. We will critically discuss topics such as diasporic and national belonging, asylum and integration politics, multiculturality and European cultural identity. We will not only look at the representation of refugees in literary texts, but also in mass media and film. All readings are in translation and focus on contemporary transnational German-language literature and film affected by migration. While the beginning of the course covers Jewish and political exile during National Socialism, the other parts deal with Germany as an immigration country since the fall of the wall in 1989, including its "Welcome Culture" as response to the global "refugee crisis" since 2015.

All course material is in English. There are no prerequisites. Cross-listed with GERM 302.

German Literature after 1945 (in English)
Instructor: Daniela Hempen (2020W) ; Markus Hallensleben (2022W ,2021W, 2020W, 2019W)

Reading and discussion of selected literary works from West, East, and the United Germany, as well as from Austria and Switzerland.

GERM 302-001: German Literature after 1945: Exile, Flight, Refuge and Migration (in English)
Instructor: Markus Hallensleben

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.

GERM 506B: Intercultural Competence: Narratives of Belonging
Instructor: Markus Hallensleben

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.

GERM 520C, Narratives of Migration
Instructor: Markus Hallensleben

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.

GRSJ 316: Queer and Trans of Colour Theorizing
Rosanne Sia

The intellectual and political interventions of queer of colour theorizing in the gender and sexual politics of racial and imperial projects, including its engagements with women of colour feminisms, settler colonial and indigenous studies, and immigration and diaspora studies.

HIST 104D: Topics in World History – Global Migration
Benjamin Bryce

Selected topics in the history of international relations. Restricted to fourth year students majoring in History or International Relations.

HIST 305: History of British Columbia
Laura Ishiguro

The social, political, cultural, environmental, and economic transformations that have made British Columbia. Topics include the histories of Indigenous and settler peoples, the modern state, migration, activism, and identity.

HIST 319: Britain, 1945 to the Present
Micheal Lanthier

Survey of recent British history, with emphasis on de-colonization, emergence of the welfare state, new social movements and patterns of immigration, and Britain's changing relationship with Europe.

HIST 325: Canada 1896-1945: Boom, Bust and War
Colin Grittner

Includes Aboriginal policy, immigration and national identity; Canada, Britain and the US; World Wars; economic modernization; the Great Depression; regionalism; political and social movements; and the creation of 'Canadian' culture. Credit will only be granted for one of HIST 325 or 426, if 426 was taken before 2007W.

HIST 326: Affluence and Anxiety in the Atomic Age
Tina Merrill Loo

Includes immigration policy; the welfare state; Aboriginal peoples; the Cold War; resource economies and national politics; continentalism and free trade; constitutional crises; conflicting nationalisms; and new social movements. Credit will only be granted for one of HIST 326 or 426, if 426 was taken before 2007W.

HIST 339: The United States Since 1945: The Limits of Power
Leslie Paris

American military and geo-political power during and after Cold War; wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Middle East; domestic issues including McCarthyism, social movements (blacks, women, youth, gays and lesbians, and Native Americans), consumerism, immigration, and rise of New Right.

HIST 402D: Problems in International Relations - PRBS INTRNL RELN
Alexei Kojevnikov

Selected topics such as trade, migration, diplomacy, war, migration, colonialism, and post- colonialism. Priority for registration to majors in History or International Relations.

HIST 403J : Seminar in the History of International Relations - Migration Americas
Instructor: Benjamin Bryce

Selected topics in the history of international relations. Restricted to fourth year students majoring in History or International Relations.

HIST 485: Asian Migrant Communities in Vancouver

This course will examine the history of Asian migration to Vancouver and British Columbia, focusing on the development of local communities and provide a background in historical research methods that will enable the students to conduct research on the history of these communities.

HIST 490R: Seminar for Majors in History - SEM FOR HIST MAJ
Instructor: Benjamin Bryce

Selected problems in the theory and practice of historical work. Check with the department for course offerings. Restricted to fourth year students majoring in History or in the History and Philosophy of Science. Also open to History Honours students.

Cultural Exchange between Modern Italy and China
Instructor: Gaoheng Zhang

Reading and discussion of selected literary works from West, East, and the United Germany, as well as from Austria and Switzerland.

LAW 377.001: Immigration Law
: Asha Kaushal

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.

LAW 378D: Refugee Law - REFUGEE LAW
Instructor: Efrat Arbel

This course focuses on admission of immigrants into Canada; refugee protection; practice and procedure before immigration tribunals and the courts.

MD615F20A: Migration and Displacement

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.

MUSC 403P: Music : Selected Topics in Music - Western Art Music
Instructor: Claudio Vellutini

This iteration of the MUSC 403P course included content relevant to migration and mobilities related studies

MUSC 532P: Advanced Studies in Music History and Musicology
Instructor: Claudio Vellutini

Research seminar on a core or emerging topic in music history or musicology. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 credits if different topics are covered.

PPGA 591H: Special Topics in Public Policy
Instructor: Antje Ellermann

POLI 308Z: Issues in Canadian Politics - Issues CDN Poli
Instructor: Antje Ellermann

An examination of one or more major issues in Canadian politics (e.g., the Charter, electoral reform). Topics will vary from year to year.

POLI 328C: Topics in Comparative Politics - Comparative Poli
Antje Ellermann

Topics will vary from year to year. Consult the departmental website.

POLI 328C(3): Topics in Comparative Politics
Instructor: Antje Ellermann (2020W) ; Salta Zhumatova (2019W)

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.

POLI 449B 001/521A 001, Contested Territory
Instructor: Anna Jurkevics

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.

POLI 516C: Issues in Comparative Politics
Instructor: Antje Ellermann

POLI 516C/Global Public Policy 591G, Migration and Citizenship
Instructor: Antje Ellermann

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. 

PPGA 591H: Special Topics in Public Policy - TOPS PUBLIC PLCY
Instructor: Antje Ellermann

Offerings respond to current policy debates, topics of emerging interest, availability of visiting scholars, and interest in non-traditional courses incorporating practitioner expertise, interest in particular disciplinary perspectives missing from core courses and electives, and interest in specific regions or countries.

SCAN 414: Topics in Danish and Northern European Cultural Studies (in English)
Instructor: Ann-Kathrine Havemose

Selected topics, such as ethnicity, migration, identity, women's issues, Danish and Northern European film.

SOCI 303: Sociology of Migration
Instructor: Amira Halperin & Stefano Gulmanelli(2022W)

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.