Courses Offered in the Past

Anthropology 9204 - Ethnographic Approaches to "the City"
This seminar explores core issues in the ethnography of urban space and culture. Topics may include migration, peri-urban developments, culture, power and the meaningful construction of space, consumption and urban life, and identity, agency and community in complex, poly-cultural urban settings, and the processes of urbanization cross-culturally, among others.

Anthropology 9210 - Assessing Development
This course will focus on the connection between development and patterns of migration, both internal, especially rural-urban migration, and international. Specific issues that will be covered include: livelihoods and mobility; remittances; the trend toward urbanization; inner city poverty and shanty towns; migration and the informal sector; development induced migration.

Anthropology 9213 - Displacement and Diasporas 
This course looks at different cases of displacement and its diverse impact on communities, including refugees, the internally displaced and diasporic people - categories and definitions that are critically examined. The course also looks at the relationship between humanitarian aid organizations and refugees; life in camps as spaces delineated for those displaced; and, the process of becoming refugees.

Anthropology 9214 - Memory/History and Reconstructions of Identities
The course is critical of assumptions that marginalize popular memory and looks at various expressions that invoke the past in the present. The course will focus on the political dimension of memory and the struggle for and against power.

Anthropology 9216 - Language and Identity
The course will examine the sociocultural construction of identity through linguistic practices and linguistic features.  We will explore how individuals and groups are marked as certain kinds of people by the way they speak in a given context and how speakers use language in different ways to accomplish particular kinds of interactional goals.  We may also look at how media and politcal discourse construct identities and realstiosn among social groups.

Anthropology 9223 - Anthropology of Migration
The course will use ethnographic and historical accounts to examine some of the theoretical attempts to describe, explain and predict human migration. Specific issues, such as racism, ethnicity, transnationalism, globalization, legal/illegal status, identity and border politics will be included. Although I will provide basic reading lists for these issues, students will play a leading role in the selection of additional topics and reading materials that meet their interests.

Anthropology 9224B - Advanced Refugee and Migrant Studies: Risky Passages and Restrictive Borders - Refugees and the Contemporary Challenges
Airports, harbours and militarized borders furnished with cameras and detectors are symbols of an era of increasing fear, discrimination, and dehumanization of migrants and refugees. Some scholars use the term “global apartheid” to describe borders as barriers. ‘Fortress Europe’ being a clear example for restricting and controlling the entry of most people from the global South. In this global landscape, place of origin, class, national/ethnic identity, or religion are markers for inclusion or exclusion, of acceptance or rejection, but of mobility and immobility. In contrast, borders-as-bridges facilitate the movement of people deemed ‘civilized’ and ‘risk-free’, along with capital and commodities.  National security and the threat of terrorism are slogans invoked to mobilize support for this skewed cartography, and used as pretexts to deny entry, deport or detain individuals, who are often victims of wars and weapons unleashed by the very states restricting or preventing entry. Refugee status and citizenship have become much more difficult to obtain for people fleeing wars, violence, persecution, or natural disasters. Moreover, those seeking refuge, are increasingly recast as potential criminals, undesirable, security threats, or queue-jumpers deviously manipulating western humanitarianism, democracy, and ‘tolerance’. However, the increasing militarization of borders is not hindering many of the poor or those exposed to violence and wars from attempting to seek safety, and a better life. Many take perilous journeys, risking death by drowning as they sail high seas in flimsy boats, or crossing harsh deserts to avoid guards and sophisticated border technologies that aim to catch and trap them, as one does insects or animals in a net. Others remain trapped on borders in detention centers, miserable refugee camps, or within dangerous zones, unable to seek any form of protection or safety from any state.

Using readings, lectures, presentations, class discussions and documentary films, the course engages students to critically examine changing and complex borders and what they tell us about the global order, and the effects of these on migrants and their journeys.  In the first part our focus is historical and global, dealing with the emergence of the international refugee regime, followed by the contemporary erosion of refugee rights and international protection. We will draw on case studies and ethnographies such as the US-Mexico border, Fortress Europe, and other examples from around the world, including the recent massive displacement of people from the Middle East and North Africa. We will discuss how refugees strategize to adapt to changing border regimes. We will read/hear through stories and documentaries, the voices of refugees as we follow their precarious journeys to desired harbours of refuge, which do not necessarily turn out to be the ‘promised land’ they imagined, and do not always have happy endings.

Anthropology 9225A - Special Topics in Anthropology: The Faces and Phases of Nations and Nationalisms
From its liberationist anti-colonial moment, to its ugly racist and fascist face, nationalism - the ideological motor of the ‘nation’ and nation-state has multiple faces and phases. Most scholars agree that the genesis of national consciousness and the concept of the ‘nation’ are attributed to the two momentous revolutions of the 18th century: The North American colonies’ rebellion against Great Britain leading to the American Declaration of Independence (1776), and the French Revolution (1789) – the latter having literally beheaded Absolutism in the figure of Louis the XVI. These momentous events fomented the meaning of the ‘nation’ as a social unit, or in Anderson’s famous expression, imagined community, a unity among equal and free citizens with authority to invest sovereignty in the state – the ‘nation-state’ – thereby obscuring class struggles and other social fissures in society. The history of the emergence of the nation-state is closely entwined with capitalist expansion and the colonial domination of millions of people and a vast stretch of the Earth’s territory for markets and cheap labor. There in the colonial world of ‘natives’, the noble ideals of the Enlightenment were suspended. Thus, anti-colonial national liberation movements in the ‘Third World’ sought to mobilize the largest alliance of classes in a ‘front’ against colonialism. Many of these movements inherited colonial institutions and as new ‘independent’ states became oppressive regimes and continued to orbit in the imperial sphere, unable to achieve real sovereignty and independence. A postcolonial theory and critics of postcolonial scholars emerged out of this condition. In this course, we examine the various theories, types and manifestations of nations and nationalism, and will draw on case studies from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Geography 9106- Development Geography
This course explores the historical context and conflicting theories of development and globalization. The first half of the course is organized chronologically, looking at dominant political economic influences during time periods including the colonial legacy, 'the development project' and neoliberalism. The second half focuses on key issues in development including gender, climate change, land grabbing and social movements. Students complete a major paper connecting one of the course themes to their own area of research interest, e.g. migration, children's health, resource conflicts, urban agriculture, etc. 

Geography 9109 – Geography of Migration
Trends, patterns and processes of migration, drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives to examine migration flows in a number of international contexts. Particular attention is paid to the development impacts of migration as well as to emerging transnational migrant practices.

Geography 9115 - Urban Social Cultural Geography
This course examines the production and interpretation of cultures, the major cultural markers of identity, and the politics of space, place and landscape. Final lists of seminar topics and readings for discussion will be developed in consultation with students. 

Geography 9318 – Advanced Seminar in Human Geography
This course examines current theoretical debate and research practice in human geography. Through preparatory reading and class discussion, students are exposed to the work of key geographical thinkers in order to deepen their understanding of core geographical concepts and theories. These are then applied to analysis of particular themes and locations. Depending on the fields in which students are conducting their research, the specific thematic focus will vary from year to year.

Geography 9518 - Advanced Cultural Geography
The course examines the production, practices and interpretations of culture, the major cultural markers of identity - e.g., class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, body --- and the roles of space and power therein. The primary goal is to encourage the students to develop, question, critique and apply these concepts and this literature to his or her research interests.  

Hispanic Studies SP 9029B The American Dream/El Sueño Americano
Felipe Quintanilla | Fall Term | Wednesdays 5:30-8:30pm
From Saussure to Derrida, from Foucault to Butler, Marx to Žižek, Freud to Kristeva, Fanon to Hall and Muñoz, this course aims to introduce graduate students to the rich field of interdisciplinary cultural studies. Students will not only become familiar with relevant schools of thought, but also practice and develop interdisciplinary strategies to analyze social/literary issues. Facilitating our ambitious project will be a number of cultural artifacts informing a conversation around the possible meanings around the concept of the “American dream,” its vices, virtues, its concomitant politics of inclusion/exclusion. Along the way, we will also be mindful of how this “dream,” or "dreams," play a role in the framing discourses of empire, intervention, migration, gender, sex, class and ethnicity/race. We will be in great company, fighting wars overseas with Chicanos; road tripping with Thelma and Louise, Tenoch and Julio Zapata. From a postwar touch of evil to the easy riding of the late 1960s, from stories of migration to the dream-dealers of the dystopian future, this course will wrestle with that ever-elusive concept of the American dream, the nightmare, the sham, the saving graces.


Hispanic Studies SP 9651  - Migration and Ethnic Relations in Colonial Latin American Art (ca. 1520-1810)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Colonial/Viceregal Latin American art (ca. 1520-1810) through the perspective of contact, migration and ethnic relations.  Beginning with the Conquest of America by the Spaniard and Portuguese, America received outside influence that had a major impact on artistic creations.  Not only did European artist come to work in America, but there was an on-going artistic commerce between the metropolis and the colonies.  Patrons, religious or secular, also came with their own cultural background.  Prints, books and ideas also circulated widely.  The artistic influence was not, however going in a one way direction.  Moreover, the indigenous presence is something that gave Latin American Viceregal art a unique touch, but also the Asian and African influences must be taken into account.  All of those traditions somehow met in Latin America and gave birth to unique artistic creations.  Some topics that will be considered through reading and discussing of selected texts: the encounters, race and ethnic relations as an artistic topic, early collecting, the artists behind the works of art, patronage, devotion to images of Christ and the Virgin, gender issues, the materiality of artwork, Asian and African influences.

Hispanic Studies 9705 - Languages in Contact
This course examines the field of contact linguistics, in particular as it relates to Spanish and the languages that come into contact with it. Topics will include language maintenance, structural convergence, code switching, mixed languages and pidgins and creoles. We will cover contact with Arabic in the Iberian Peninsula, contact with English, and contact with the indigenous languages such as Quechua and Guaraní. Finally, we will examine creole languages based on Spanish and Portuguese, such as Papiamentu (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) and Palenquero (Colombia).

Hispanic Studies 9785A - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Hispanic Studies
Constanza Burucúa | Fall Term | Fridays 9:30-12:30pm
This course is conceived as a space of dialogue and encounter, where specialists from different disciplines, all of which can be grouped under the broad category of Hispanic studies, will present their research work, and engage in conversation with our graduate students and with the wider academic community. From a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches, while always with the Hispanic world at the core of the discussion, the course’s main objective is that exposing students to contemporary debates about culture and language as spaces of inter-cultural exchange and communication.


History 4891 - Eastern European Jewish History
This seminar will explore the history of Jews in the territories of the three former empires – Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman– from the 1600s to the present. We will discuss a variety of primary and secondary sources in the field. Thematically, we will focus on the historical forces that transformed Jewish life in Eastern Europe starting from the late 1600s. We will explore new religious movements within Judaism as well as secularization and assimilation, urbanization and migration, and changes in gender images and roles. We will pay particular attention to the relations/encounters between Jews and non-Jews.

History 9275 - Canadian Immigration History: The Personal, The Politics and the Policies
Immigration has played a central role in Canada’s history, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries. But immigration is more than an historical phenomenon; it is also our current lived experience. In addition to the historical focus, discussions in this course will also engage current debates, issues, and events. In particular, this course focuses on analyzing the complex historical relationships involving ‘race’ and ethnicity, class, and gender.

History 9307 - Early America & the Atlantic World, 1600-1820
This graduate course on early American history examines the settlement of the mainland British colonies of North America in the 1600's and 1700's, their development in the context of a British Atlantic world, the American Revolution, and the formation of the early U.S. republic.  Particular attention is paid to understanding the character and diversity of British colonialism and the formation of the United States through  comparisons with other New World empires as well as the rich context of the multi-national, multi-ethnic Atlantic World.

History 9411 - The Jews of Eastern Europe
In this course, the History of the Jews of Eastern Europe will be studied. Specific topics will include: the triangular relationship between Jews, their magnate benefactors, and royal or imperial authorities; the role of Jews in the development and modernization of commerce and urban life; the relationship between Jews and their non-Jewish neighbors; 1881 as a turning point for the Jews of Poland and Russia; the influence Absolutism, Enlightenment, Liberalism, Nationalism, and Antisemitism; the literary revival and modernization of the Hebrew and Yiddish languages; the emergence of mass Jewish political movements such as Zionism and Bundism as a response to Antisemitism; the impact of World War One and the collapse of multi-national empires; the new possibilities and challenges of the Interwar; and the destruction of East European Jewry during the Holocaust. 

History 9412 - Jewish Politics: Zionism, Socialism, Assimilationism 
This course will explore the political aims and strategies of Jews during the last two centuries.The central theme of the course will be the Jewish search for agency and the critiques of alleged passivity. After briefly surveying the political outlook of Jews in the pre-modern world, the efforts by nineteenth century Jews to gain citizenship, notably a fervent embrace of liberalism, socialism, and various forms of assimilation will be discussed.Then the rise of Zionism and other forms of Jewish nationalism, Jewish forms of socialism, and hybrid political movements that combined elements of nationalism, socialism, and assimilationism will be explored. The thrust of the course will be the maturing of these various nineteenth century political movements during the twentieth century in the various centers of World Jewry during the twentieth: Inter-war Poland, The Soviet Union, the United States, and the State of Israel.

History 9551 – Slavery Experienced : Enslaved African Lives in Latin America
Slavery Experienced addresses the issue of sub-Saharan African enslavement and the burgeoning of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade during the modern era, by focusing upon the experiences of enslavement in the Iberian colonial world, but also with a brief survey of enslavement in West and West Central Africa. This course will examine some of the themes that have emerged as critical to our understanding of African enslavement, especially from the perspective of the enslaved, across what has been called the Black Atlantic; but with special attention to Africa and the Spanish and Luso colonial societies in America.

History 9706 – Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World
Through extensive reading in the literature and historiography of slavery and abolition in the Atlantic World, and through the preparation of a research paper in this field, this course explores the rise of modern slavery, the structures and impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade, the experience of enslavement, the relationship between bound labour and plantation agriculture, the emergence of abolitionist/antislavery activism and the process of Emancipation.

History 9718 – Race and Gender on Imperial Frontiers
Members of this seminar will read and discuss recent literature on the history of settler colonialism in North America (and some comparative studies). Settler colonies like the U.S., Canada and other British dominions are societies in which white European men and women invaded a place in order to settle there permanently, and used political, legal, cultural, and economic structures to transform it into their space, turning themselves into its “natives.” New gender norms and racial hierarchies arose from white settler colonial methods of taking land and extracting labor.

History 9831 - 'Killing Fields': A Global History of Mass Violence 
This seminar explores the causes, cases, contours, and consequences of mass violence in modern history. The course draws on theoretical perspectives from anthropology, history, sociology, law, political science, social psychology, and philosophy to develop a coherent analytical matrix for understanding mass violence. We will discuss conceptual frameworks and apply to them a number of case studies including the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, and genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda. We will study victims and perpetrators, analyze the role of gender, examine, rescue, resistance, intervention and prevention, and discuss the multiple functions of social memory to post-conflict justice.

Modern Languages SP 9651 - Colonial Latin American Art (ca. 1520-1810)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Colonial/ Viceregal Latin American art (ca. 1520-1810) through the perspective of migration and ethnic relations. Beginning with the Conquest of America by the Spaniards and Portuguese, America received outside influence that had a major impact on artistic creation. Not only did European artists come to work in America, but there was an on-going artistic commerce between the metropolis and the colonies. Patrons, religious or secular, also came with their own cultural background. Prints, books and ideas also circulated widely. The artistic influence was not, however, going in a one way direction. Moreover, the indigenous presence is something that gave Latin American Viceregal art a unique touch, but also the Asian and African influences must be taken into account. All of those traditions somehow met in Latin America and gave birth to unique artistic creations. Some topics to be considered: the encounters, race and ethnic relations as an artistic topic, early collecting, devotion to images of Christ and the Virgin, gender issues, patronage, Asian and African influences.
All readings will be available in English and discussions will be conducted in this language. Students will have the option to write their final essay either in English, Spanish, or French.

Political Science 9511A - International Relations
This course provides students with an advanced introduction to theoretical approaches and contemporary issues within the study of International Relations. The first part of the course examines explanatory theories of IR and their application to foreign policy decisions as well as to the emergence and effectiveness of international agreements, norms and institutions. The second part of the course examines the ideological component of IR theories and how they serve as a guide to foreign policy. It also examines a variety of current foreign policy issues.


Political Science 9723< - Genocide
An examination of the theoretical and methodological issues related to the topic of genocide and a consideration of empirical cases of genocide and genocidal acts, such as “ethnic cleansing.” The course begins by looking at the definition of genocide provided by the 1948 UN Genocide Convention and the legal-political context in which that convention was held. We will examine recent debates and alternative theoretical models by referring to specific cases, beginning with those of the Armenians and the Jews in the first half of the Twentieth century, and then move to discuss more recent cases of genocides and genocidal acts, including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, among others.

Political Science 9751 - Transitional Justice
The twentieth century gave rise to some of the bloodiest massacres in history. It also saw the development and implementation of instruments to deal with these crimes. Yet there is still substantial debate and even disagreement about the efficacy and appropriateness of the kinds of mechanisms that have come into being, and about the particular results that each has been able to achieve. This course aims to critically examine three broad categories, around which the course is structured: retributive justice; restorative justice; and restitutive justice. The course will focus on the conceptual frameworks and approaches, as well as both historical and contemporary uses of each. Use of selected case studies and a variety of examples will be considered.

Psychology 9436 - Social Development in a Cultural Context
In this course, we will discuss contemporary issues in the cross-cultural study of social, emotional, and personality development. The course will emphasize an examination of the "meanings" of basic social-personality constructs and the appropriateness of developmental research methods in different cultures. Topics to be discussed in this course include models of cultural influences on development, research paradigms and strategies, cultural influences on parent-child relationships, peer relationships, moral development, aggression, inhibition and social withdrawal, and social problem solving. The role of the cultural context in the development of socialization beliefs and values and family systems will also be discussed. Given the particular interests of the students in this course, topics may be deleted, added, or expanded.

Psychology 9722 - Psychology of Prejudice
This seminar will survey theory and research on prejudice and discrimination. Among the topics to be covered are stereotypes and stereotyping, unconscious aspects of prejudice, symbolic and modern racism, hate on the web, and combating prejudice. Emphasis will be placed on discussing the major issues within each topic and on critically evaluating the empirical work on which current analyses are based.

Psychology 9730 - Social Psychology of Justice
This course will cover the major theories and research programs in the area of the social psychology of justice. The topics will include prominent theories (e.g., equity theory, relative deprivation theory, just world theory) and important research areas (e.g., the psychology of punishment, moral priming, psychology and the law). The class format will include lectures and discussions of readings.

Sociology 9147A - Social Inequality
The purpose of this course is to advance our understanding of a number of theoretical approaches to inequality. Rather than examining separately different forms of inequality, such as racial of gender inequality, this course examines theoretical approaches that are use to explain these and other forms of inequality in more general terms.

Sociology 9150 - Race and Minority Relations
An evaluation of relations among ethnic, racial and religious groups focusing on inter-group hostility and conflict and the role of these groups in the larger community. Prejudice and discrimination are analyzed for their social psychological, political and economic causes and effects. Social and political movements to resolve intergroup conflicts are examined.

Sociology 9166 - Race, Class and Colonialism
A look at race and class inequality and the development of capitalism in the Third World. Topics will include slavery and indentureship; colonisation and decolonisation; race, class, politics and nationalism.

Sociology 9177A - The Social Context of Racial Inequality
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.


Sociology 9307 - Determinants of Social Change
An introduction to the changing nature of population and an examination of the theoretical, historical, and sociological perspectives of population changes (mortality, fertility, and migration). Major objectives: in-depth understandings of demography components in historical perspectives and the changing relationships between them. In order to count as a MER course, the final assignment/paper must be on a migration-relevant topic. 

Sociology 9308 - Population and Social Structure
An advanced survey course with particular attention to the sociological aspects of human population. Nuptiality, family and household demography, urbanization and development. Population policy, with special reference to immigration and family planning.

Sociology 9331A - Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis of Social Change
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 9373 - Migration
Determinants and consequences of internal and international migration are studied. Theory and methods, as well as demographic and socio-economic issues related to both types of migration, are discussed.

Sociology 9375- Immigration Policy Development and Evaluation Strategies
This course will provide an overview of Canadian immigration policies, and the many changes that have occurred to these policies in recent history. Students will learn about the admission system for permanent residents, and the many different types of temporary statuses that individuals use to enter Canada. We will also investigate how these policies were developed, and some of the techniques and strategies that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of Canada’s immigration system.

Sociology 9376 - Population: Policies and Programs
Population policies and programs in societies at different stages of development will be examined in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Both implicit and explicit programs with consequences for population growth, size, and distribution will be discussed.

Sociology 9377 - Transnationalism and Ethnic Identities
This course will examine the nature and forms of contemporary ethnic identities, the local and transnational factors that shape them, and how they relate to ethnic nationalist, multicultural and “cosmopolitan” ideologies generated by nations, states and global agencies. Readings will cover diverse national cases, while giving particular attention to Canadian issues.

Women’s Studies 9456 – Indigenous Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course provides a critical engagement with key concepts and debates in the burgeoning field of Indigenous gender and sexuality studies. Rather than understanding colonization as a two-pronged attack on ostensibly separate public and private domains, this course will analyze how settler colonialism has mobilized compulsory heteroconjugality to control not only Indigenous identities and “family formation[s]” but also Indigenous “collective decision-making, resource distribution, and land tenure” (Rifkin 8).

Women's Studies and Feminist Research 9581 - Feminism and Race
A study of race, ethnicity, and racism, especially, but not exclusively, as they arise in feminisms and feminist scholarship. Questions will include, but are not limited to: How should we understand race? How does intersectional identity (including racial, ethnic and class identity) challenge feminist discourse? Is there a difference between exclusion and racism? How is anti-racist feminism different from feminism? What would an inclusive feminist movement and inclusive feminist scholarship look like? Authors will include Linda Martin Alcoff, Maria Lugones, Audre Lorde, Patricia Hill Collins, Patricia Monture, Chandra Mohanty, Himani Bannerji, and Gloria Anzaldua.

Women's Studies and Feminist Research 9592B - Gender and Development: Theory, Practice, Advocacy
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 understanding of the field are welcome in the course, which is open to all graduate students with an interest in the contemporary theory and practice of gender and development.