The following courses can be taken to meet the course requirements of the specialization. Required courses are MER 9000 plus a total of two half courses from the list below: One half course from your home program, and one half course from an outside program. To register for a MER approved course outside of your home program please contact the course instructor for approval, complete and sign the Request Form, and return the form to your home program’s graduate assistant for course enrollment. Contact departments or instructors for further course details.

MER 9000 - Colloquium Series in Migration and Ethnic Relations

Credited or Non-credited requirement (as determined by home department)
Haan, Full Year | Thursdays "roughly bi-weekly", 4:00 - 5:30 | 

Associated faculty, students, and guest speakers present their research. There will be at least ten colloquia per year, with some of the talks involving attendance at specific occasions in series organized by other groups. Besides the colloquia in which research is presented, there will be other scheduled meetings in which students will discuss professional issues, opportunities for collaboration, and other topics.

MER Specialization Courses 2023-2024

Please note that for all MER-related courses listed below, students must write their major paper for the course on a directly relevant MER topic.

Anthropology 9225B – Faces & Phases of Nations & Nationalisms
 Randa Farah| Winter Term 
Airports, harbours, and militarized borders furnished with cameras and detectors are symbols of an era characterized by growing fear, discrimination, and dehumanization of migrants and refugees. Oceans and seas have become graveyards for many migrants as they crash against high waves and new technologies to keep them away from the borders of rich states, many of them imperial powers. Many of those who make it to Europe, North America, or Australia encounter racism and difficult struggles for survival. Asylum seekers may live for years without citizenship rights and hence are barred from equal treatment under the law, they become second-class citizens. Many scholars use terms such as “global apartheid,” and ‘Fortress Europe’ to describe the polarized world in which we live. In this global landscape, place of origin, class, national/ethnic identity, or religion are markers for inclusion-exclusion, acceptance-rejection, and mobility-immobility. In this skewed cartography, many of the migrants are victims of wars unleashed by the very states restricting or preventing entry. Many migrants remain trapped on borders in detention centres, miserable refugee camps, or within dangerous zones, unable to seek any form of protection or safety from any state. In this seminar, we will draw on theoretical literature and ethnographic materials to gain a critical approach that helps us analyze a world order that produces the ‘refugee’, evaluate such classifications, and the international humanitarian regime that caters to ‘beneficiaries’. We will read materials by Agamben, Arendt, and other scholars to trace how power orders territories, disciplines populations, creates ‘states of exception’, and exercises biopolitics on human bodies. At the beginning of the term, I will ask students about their research and ensure we include readings that are relevant to their areas of research and interests.

Hispanic Studies 9030B: Afro Latin American Culture
 Victoria F. Wolff | Winter Term 
Through the study of a variety of texts, we will begin to analyze the complexities of Black Latin America and the unique cultural projects that have emerged from it. The cultural artifacts with which we will work with will help us break down assumptions, stereotypes, and overgeneralizations in relation to African and Afro-descendant peoples of the Atlantic world. Students will participate in discussions, projects, and presentations to develop specific research skills and effective communication. 

Political Science 9511A – International Relations
 Adam Harmes | Fall Term 
This course provides students with an advanced introduction to the politics of international relations and foreign policy with an emphasis on contemporary issues and cases. The first part of the course examines different approaches to foreign policy and international relations including realism, liberalism, neoconservatism, libertarianism, populist conservatism, social conservatism, and progressivism. The second part of the course examines the debate between these approaches across different issues and cases. The course also examines the institutions, history, and politics of Canadian foreign policy.

Sociology 9331B - Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis of Social Change
 Anna Zajacova | Winter Term 
Introduces students to the concepts and tools used by demographers to study the size, structure, and dynamics of human populations. It covers the collection, evaluation, and analysis of demographic data, census and vital registration systems, basic measures of mortality, fertility, and migration, life table construction, and population projections.

Sociology 9177A  - The Social Context of Racial Inequality
 Kate Choi | Fall Term |
This course provides an in-depth overview of sociological understandings of race and ethnicity, with a particular focus on the institutional underpinnings of racial and ethnic inequality in the United States and Canada. The core question we seek to address is: What are the sociological origins of racial inequality? To answer this, we begin by investigating how sociologists understand racial and ethnic distinctions. What comprises a racial or ethnic group? We then shift our attention to patterns of racial and ethnic inequality, focusing on the major institutions through which racial inequality is generated: the housing market, the labor market, schools, and the criminal justice system.

Women's Studies and Feminist Research 9592B - Gender and Development
 Bipasha Baruah | Winter Term 
This course seeks to provide an introduction to ‘gender and development’ as a domain of theory, practice, advocacy and interaction. The course is informed by the needs and interests of future ‘practitioners,’ i.e. students who hope to engage in research, project design and implementation, policy analysis, advocacy and/or networking in the ‘gender and development’ field or a closely related domain. To best serve the needs of such students, a few lectures of the course are devoted to providing students with a historical perspective on the evolution of the theory and practice of gender and development discourse, and rest of the course focuses almost exclusively on key contemporary and emerging gender issues and debates. Students who do not intend to work as gender and development ‘practitioners,’ but who want to acquire an up-to-date.