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 | SSC 6210

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 2021-2022

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.

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 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 9307A - Early America and the Atlantic World

Nancy Rhoden | Fall Term | Fridays 9:30-11:30 |  pdf outline

This graduate course on early American history examines the settlement of the mainland British colonies of North America in the 1600s and 1700s, 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.
Political Science 9511A - International Relations

Adam Harmes | Fall Term | Mondays 11:30-1:30, SSC-4103 | pdf outline

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 9723A - Genocide

Joanna Quinn | Fall Term | Thursdays 1:30-3:30, SSC 4255 | pdf  outline

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.
Sociology 9147A - Social Inequality

Sean Waite | Fall Term | Wednesdays 9:30-12:30 |  pdf outline

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 used to explain these and other forms of inequality in more general terms.
Sociology 9177A - The Social Context of Racial Inequality

Patrick Denice | Fall Term | Thursdays 9:30-12:30 | pdf outline

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 9331A - Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis of Social Change

Anna Zajacova | Winter Term | Monday 1:30-4:30 | pdf outline

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 9373A - Migration

Teresa Abada | Winter Term | Tuesdays 9:30-12:30 | pdf outline

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 9375B - Immigration Policy Development & Evaluation Strategies

Michael Haan | Fall Term | Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 | pdf outline

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.