Global Migration (Fall 2015)

Draft Syllabus – See Blackboard for official version

HIST 493/708 – Global Migration

Professor: Dr. Benjamin Bryce

Term: Fall 2015

Time: Wednesdays, 18:00-20:50

Course Description: This course explores several themes in the history of migration. It focuses on the people who migrate and on the responses of government officials, workers, politicians, and other migrant groups to new arrivals. Topics include gender, the construction of racial categories, government policies, and nationalism. The readings aim to introduce students to a variety of methodological approaches used in social history as well as to offer examples of transnational and global history. The assignments seek to strengthen students’ research skills using primary and secondary sources.

Learning Objectives:

1) A greater understanding of migration history.

2) A greater understanding of global and transnational history and research methods.

3) A greater ability to critically discuss historiography.

4) Increased experience working with primary documents.

Course Structure: Class time in this seminar course will be dedicated to group discussions of assigned reading, student presentations, and discussions of research projects. Written assignments will build on the topics examined in class, but they will require additional reading. As a fourth-year seminar and in accordance with departmental practices for this level, there will be no lectures. Students are expected to participate in all discussions on a weekly basis. I will sometimes lead discussions, but it will be students’ contributions to seminars that help others learn.

Readings: All readings are mandatory. Journal articles and book chapters can be downloaded from Blackboard or accessed through the UNBC library. The following books are on sale at the UNBC bookstore, and they are also on reserve at the library.

Matthew Frye Jacobson. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Harvard University Press, 1999.

Jeffrey Lesser. Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil. Duke University Press, 1999.

Evaluation for HIST 493: (for MA students enrolled in HIST 708, see modified grade scheme below)

  1. Participation and attendance, 20%
  2. In-class presentation on readings, 15%
  3. Primary document analysis, 4-5 pages, October 21, 20%
  4. Research essay, 12-15 pages, November 18, 35%
  5. In-class presentation of research essay, December 2, 10%
  1. Participation. Discussion is an important part of fourth-year seminars, and students will learn from one another through their active participation. Students are expected to attend class every week and to actively participate in the discussion of the readings. Students will be required to read approximately 100 pages per week, and they should demonstrate a mastery of the readings and share some critical thoughts about the arguments presented. Contributions to the discussion should be based on the readings and be respectful to classmates. Students who feel that they will not be able to complete this component of the course should meet with me as soon as possible.
  2. In-class presentation. Dates to be chosen in the first week of class. Each student will have to make one presentation to the group (5-7 minutes) on the main themes that appear in two of the week’s assigned readings or two chapters of an assigned monograph. Students should identify the main arguments of the readings and connect the readings to the general themes of the course. Students should conclude with two broad questions that stimulate discussion. There will often be two presentations each week, and students are to coordinate among themselves which article or book chapters they will present on. Each student will present on only two readings or two chapters. If there are too many presenters or too few readings, more than one student can present on the same reading.
    • 2.b. Readings review. Instead of an in-class presentation, students may write a 500-word review of all of the assigned readings for that week. A strong analysis will discuss all of the readings in relation to one another. A strong review will go beyond summarizing the main points and argument and also highlight the readings’ strengths and their contribution to a broader historiographic conversation. The review is due before class the week the readings are assigned. The review must be completed by November 4 even if the chosen readings are assigned for a later date.
  1. Primary document analysis. 4-5 pages. Students are asked to analyze the 1929 primary document assigned on October 7. The document is 223 pages long. Students are not asked to summarize the document but rather to discuss it broadly and then to focus in on one or two themes that they find to be particularly important. They can quote secondary sources to buttress their own analysis.
  1. Historical Research Essay. 12-15 pages. Students are asked to write a historical research essay drawing from both primary and secondary sources. Students must identify and analyze an important topic in migration history. Outside research is required, and at least six books or articles not assigned in this course must be examined as well as a reasonable number of primary documents. Many published primary documents related to migration can be found on www.archive.org or acquired through interlibrary loans. Primary documents can be found in the Northern BC Archives & Special Collections at the UNBC library. The topic is open but it must relate to one of the main themes of the course. A list of possible topics will be circulated in class, but students are free to pick their own topic after discussing it with me.
    • 4.b. Historiographic Research Essay. 12-15 pages. Students are asked to write a historiographic research essay. Students must identify and analyze an important topic in migration history. Outside research is required, and at least ten books or articles not assigned in this course must be examined. Students can analyze research assigned in class in addition to ten other publications. The topic is open but it must relate to one of the main themes of the course. A list of possible topics will be circulated in class, but students are free to pick their own topic after discussing it with me.
  1. Essay presentations. Each student will present the major conclusions on his or her essay. Our final class will be dedicated to these presentations. The goal of this assignment is to have students learn from their classmates’ research. The form of this essay can be either in a 5-minute oral presentation or by making a poster and discussing it with classmates. A more detailed description of these two options will be distributed in class.

Evaluation for HIST 708: (for BA students enrolled in HIST 493, see modified grade scheme above)

  1. Participation and attendance, 25%
  2. In-class presentation on readings, 15%
  3. Primary document analysis, 5-6 pages, October 21, 20%
  4. Research essay, 15 pages, November 18, 30%
  5. In-class presentation of research essay, December 2, 10%
  1. Participation. Discussion is an important part of graduate seminars, and students will learn from one another through their active participation. Students are expected to attend class every week and to actively participate in the discussion of the readings. Students will be required to read approximately 100 pages per week, and they should demonstrate a mastery of the readings and share some critical thoughts about the arguments presented. Contributions to the discussion should be based on the readings and be respectful to classmates. Students who feel that they will not be able to complete this component of the course should meet with me as soon as possible.
  2. In-class presentation. Dates to be chosen in the first week of class. Each student will have to make one presentation to the group (5-7 minutes) on the main themes that appear in two of the week’s assigned readings or two chapters of an assigned monograph. Students should identify the main arguments of the readings and connect the readings to the general themes of the course. Students should conclude with two broad questions that stimulate discussion. There will often be two presentations each week, and students are to coordinate among themselves which article or book chapters they will present on. Each student will present on only two readings or two chapters. If there are too many presenters or too few readings, more than one student can present on the same reading.
  1. Primary document analysis. 5-6 pages. Students are asked to analyze the 1929 primary document assigned on October 7. The document is 223 pages long. Students are not asked to summarize the document but rather to discuss it broadly and then to focus in on one or two themes that they find to be particularly important. They can quote secondary sources to buttress their own analysis.
  1. Historical Research Essay. 15 pages. Students are asked to write a historical research essay drawing from both primary and secondary sources. Students must identify and analyze an important topic in migration history. Outside research is required, and at least eight books or articles not assigned in this course must be examined as well as a reasonable number of primary documents. Many published primary documents related to migration can be found on www.archive.org or acquired through interlibrary loans. Primary documents can be found in the Northern BC Archives & Special Collections at the UNBC library. The topic is open but it must relate to one of the main themes of the course. A list of possible topics will be circulated in class, but students are free to pick their own topic after discussing it with me.
  1. Essay presentations. Each student will present the major conclusions on his or her essay. Our final class will be dedicated to these presentations. The goal of this assignment is to have students learn from their classmates’ research. The form of this essay can be either in a 5-minute oral presentation or by making a poster and discussing it with classmates. A more detailed description of these two options will be distributed in class.

Course Overview:

September 9 – Introduction

  • No readings

September 16 – Global Shifts

  • Readings:
    • Peggy Levitt, Josh DeWind, and Steven Vertovec. “International Perspectives on Transnational Migration: An Introduction.” International Migration Review 37 (3) (2003): 565-575.
    • Adam McKeown. “Global Migration, 1846-1940.” Journal of World History 15, no. 2 (2004): 155–89.
    • José Moya. “A Continent of Immigrants: Postcolonial Shifts in the Western Hemisphere.” Hispanic American Historical Review 86, no. 1 (2006): 1–28.

September 23 – Immigration Policies

  • Readings:
    • David Cook-Martín and David FitzGerald. “Liberalism and the Limits of Inclusion: Race and Immigration Law in the Americas, 1850–2000.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 41.1 (2010): 7-25.
    • Tobias Brinkmann. “‘Travelling with Ballin’: The Impact of American Immigration Policies on Jewish Transmigration within Central Europe, 1880–1914.” International Instituut Voor Sociale Geschiedenis 53 (2008): 459–84.
    • Julia Rodriguez. “Inoculating against Barbarism? State Medicine and Immigrant Policy in Turn-of-the-Century Argentina.” Science in Context 19 (2006): 357-380.
    • Erika Lee. “The ‘Yellow Peril’ and Asian Exclusion in the Americas.” Pacific Historical Review 76, no. 4 (2007): 537–62.

September 30 – Challenging Particularity

  • Readings:
    • William Safran, “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return.” Diaspora 1:1 (1991): 83-99.
  • Hasia Diner. “History and the Study of Immigration: Narratives of the Particular.” In Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines, edited by Caroline Brettell and James Hollifield, 27-42. New York: Routledge, 2000.
  • Jeffrey Lesser and Raanan Rein. “Motherlands of Choice: Ethnicity, Belonging, and Identities among Jewish Latin Americans.” In Immigration and National Identities in Latin America, by Nicola Foote and Michael Goebel, 141-159. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2014.
    • José Moya. “Immigrants and Associations: A Global and Historical Perspective.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 31, no. 5 (2005): 833–64.

October 7 – Empire, Race, and Migration and Primary document analysis

  • Readings:
    • Kornel Chang. “Circulating Race and Empire: Transnational Labor Activism and the Politics of Anti-Asian Agitation in the Anglo-American Pacific World, 1880-1910.” Journal of American History 96 (2009): 678-701.
    • David C. Atkinson. “Out of One Borderland, Many: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots and the Spatial Dimensions of Race and Migration in the Canadian-US Pacific Borderlands.” In Entangling Migration History: Borderlands and Transnationalism in the United States and Canada, edited by Benjamin Bryce and Alexander Freund, 120-140. University Press of Florida, 2015.
    • Origin, Birthplace, Nationality and Language of the Canadian People. Ottawa: F.A. Acland, Printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, 1929. 223 pages

October 14 – Research week

    • No class and no readings

October 21 – Gender and Migration

  • Readings:
    • Donna Gabaccia and Elizabeth Zanoni. “Transitions in Gender Ratios among International Migrants, 1820–1930.” Social Science History 36, no. 2 (2012): 197-221.
    • José C. Moya. “Gender and Migration: Searching for Answers to Basic Questions.” Social Science History 36, no. 2 (2012): 269-74.
    • Val Marie Johnson. “Protection, Virtue, and the ‘Power to Detain’: The Moral Citizenship of Jewish Women in New York City, 1890-1920.” Journal of Urban History 31, no. 5 (2005): 655-84.
    • Benjamin Bryce. “Paternal Communities: Social Welfare and Immigration in Argentina, 1880-1930.” Journal of Social History 49, no. 1 (2015): 1-24.

October 28 – Race and Immigration in the United States

  • Readings:
    • Matthew Frye Jacobson. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Harvard University Press, 1999, 1-135

November 4 – The Construction of Racial Categories

  • Readings:
    • Jacobson. Whiteness of a Different Color, 137-280

November 11 – Remembrance Day

  • No class

November 18 – Race and Immigration in Brazil

  • Readings:
    • Jeffrey Lesser. Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil. Duke University Press, 1999. 1-79

November 25 – Immigration and National Identity

  • Readings:
    • Lesser. Negotiating National Identity. 81-173

December 2

  • Essay Presentations
    • No readings

Blackboard: This course uses Blackboard. Detailed descriptions of the assignments will be posted on Blackboard at least three weeks before the due date. Students should check this site regularly. Grades will not be posted to the Grade Centre in Blackboard.

Definition of Grades: Papers for this course will be marked according to the scale set by the History Department. An “A” essay is an excellent piece of work, which argues a clearly developed and challenging thesis, the proof of which is grounded in an exceptional usage of relevant primary and/or secondary literature. The research should demonstrate both critical evaluation and creativity while the writing should be sophisticated, coherent, and grammatically sound. In order to receive a final grade in the range of A- to A+, students will be expected to demonstrate consistently: independence of thought; subtle and complex analysis; the ability to grasp, articulate, and respond to arguments offered by others; and an exceptional understanding of the interpretations and information contained in assigned readings and lectures or considered in classroom discussions.

A “B” essay demonstrates good research skills, a clearly stated thesis, and a generally successful attempt to develop it logically, based upon secondary literature. The research should reflect an above-average development of ideas and criticism, while the writing should be clear and demonstrate a basic competence in organizational skills and grammar. As such, there should be few grammatical or structural errors. In order to receive a final grade in the range of B- to B+, students will be expected to demonstrate: the potential to engage in independent thought; an appreciation of the complexity of the issues under consideration; and a good understanding of the interpretations and information contained in assigned readings and lectures or considered in classroom discussions.

A “C” essay demonstrates that the author possesses a basic understanding of the material and some of the secondary literature, but has unsuccessfully endeavoured to articulate a thesis. While revealing knowledge, comprehension, and some application of information, usually the work also contains grammatical, structural, and organizational errors or flaws. Overall, the essay is adequate but uninspired. In order to receive a final grade in the range of C- to C+, students will be expected to demonstrate some awareness of the complexity of the issues under consideration and a satisfactory understanding of the interpretations and information contained in assigned readings and lectures or considered in classroom discussions.

A “D” essay fails to make its case or articulate a thesis. It is marked by a combination of illogical thinking, grammatical errors, flawed research, or a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the assignment. There is little application, analysis, or integration of ideas, and the essay generally fails to demonstrate a working knowledge of the topic at hand. In order to receive a final grade of D, students will be expected to demonstrate minimal competence. Although there may be evidence of an understanding of certain aspects of the interpretations and information contained in assigned readings and lectures or considered in classroom discussion, there is also evidence of difficulty in applying or communicating this understanding.

An “F” essay is inadequate in that it demonstrates fragmentary and often undigested information. It tends towards compiling rather than analyzing information and reveals a weakness in critical or analytical skills. The use of literature is often severely limited if not inappropriate or irrelevant. Overall, the essay is marked by a profound absence of thinking about the topic or the assignment. In order to receive a final grade of F, students will have failed to give evidence of being intellectually engaged in the subject matter of the course and will have failed to demonstrate even a minimal understanding of the interpretations and information contained in assigned readings and lectures or considered in classroom discussions.

Evaluation of Written Work: Assignments will be returned accompanied by comments noting areas that need attention. Assignments will only be returned to the writer. Questions about grades cannot be answered effectively by e-mail. Please read carefully the Definition of Grades (above) before discussing your grade on an assignment with me. If you ask for an assignment to be reconsidered, note that your grade could go either up or down.

E-mail Policy: Please use e-mail to communicate with me only for administrative matters. Please come to the scheduled office hours to address questions that you have or raise them in class. If you cannot make it to my office hours, please e-mail me to set up an alternative appointment. I will respond to e-mails within 48 hours, so please do not leave your inquiries to the last minute. Please take the time to compose a formal e-mail. Assignments will not be accepted by email. Please use your UNBC e-mail address to communicate with me, and please check this e-mail account regularly to receive updates about this course.

Writing Centres: Take advantage of the free services offered at the drop-in writing centre in the library (http://www.unbc.ca/academic-success-centre/library-writing-centre). The Academic Success Centre also provides helpful services to students for free (http://www.unbc.ca/academic-success-centre).

Technology Etiquette in the Classroom: Laptops may be used in class, but only for note taking. I advise that you print a copy of the notes that you take on the assigned readings and participate in class discussions using those notes. Please turn off your cellphones before class begins. It is inappropriate to surf the web or send text messages during any class at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Twitter: My username is @BenjaminBryce2. I tweet articles about university affairs, graduate school, and history. I will also use the hashtag #hist493 to tweet articles, images, and songs related to course topics. All students are welcome to use this hashtag and to tweet articles, movies, images, and songs related to migration (historical or contemporary) as well. Please remember to compose all tweets using the professional language that is expected in the classroom at the University of Northern British Columbia. Using Twitter is not a requirement for this course. No important course content will be distributed over Twitter. The hashtag #hist493 exists only to share related materials and to create a sense of community.

Submission of written work and lateness penalty: Assignments are due in class on the date specified in this syllabus. If an assignment is not handed in in class, it is considered a day late. The late submission of an assignment will be penalized in an exponential manner. For each day an assignment is late, the penalty will be as follows: 1%, 2%, 4%, 8%, 16%, 32%, 64%, 100%. This late penalty applies to weekends and holidays as well. No assignments will be accepted after eight days without a valid medical certificate. To submit a late assignment, hand in a paper version to the administrative assistant in the Department of History (Loreen Obst, whose office is room 3007 on the third floor of the Administration Building) before 16:30 on a weekday. She will date-stamp the essay. Once you hand in the paper version, send me an e-mail and a digital copy of your essay so that I know to look for it in my mailbox. If you wish to hand in an assignment on a weekend or after hours, send me your assignment and then hand in the hardcopy on the next business day. The Department of History will not be held responsible for any late assignments that go missing. Be sure to retain a copy of your paper and keep all your notes and drafts. If you have extenuating circumstances that will prevent you from submitting your assignment on time, discuss your situation with me well in advance of the due date.

Illness and absences: Notify me as soon as possible if a serious illness or other concern is affecting your ability to keep up with the course. It is also wise to contact the UNBC Wellness Centre or the Registrar’s Office if you are experiencing academic or personal difficulties.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism: Authors do not cite sources properly merely to avoid accusations of plagiarism but also to establish credibility, bring other work to the reader’s attention, and demonstrate competing viewpoints.

The University of Northern British Columbia takes academic honesty very seriously. Any suspected cases of plagiarism will be investigated and academic offences could lead to permanent expulsion from UNBC. More information on the University’s procedures on academic offences can be found here: http://www.unbc.ca/calendar/undergraduate/regulations

The code of academic conduct disallows the following:

  • to represent as one’s own any idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e. to commit plagiarism;
  • to submit, without the knowledge and approval of the instructor to whom it is submitted, any academic work for which credit has previously been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the university or elsewhere.

SafeAssign: Students are required to submit a digital version of their essays to SafeAssign through Blackboard. SafeAssign describes itself as “a tool used to prevent plagiarism and to create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool. SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of sources to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.” If you do not want to submit your essay through SafeAssign, you can instead submit photocopies of all your research notes along with your essay.

Accessibility and Accommodations: Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. If you have a disability or health consideration that may require course format accommodation, please feel free to approach me to discuss your needs. If you require accommodations for a disability or if you have accessibility concerns about the course, the classroom, or course materials, please contact the Access Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities at arc@unbc.ca (http://www.unbc.ca/access-resource-centre/contact).

Student Conduct: The University of Northern British Columbia is an academic community whose purpose is to search for knowledge through teaching, research, and the free exchange of ideas. As such, UNBC is committed to developing among its members an enduring sense of community rooted in a working and learning environment which emphasizes mutual respect and tolerance and which is free from discrimination, harassment, disruptive behaviour, and violence. The members of the UNBC community include students, faculty, staff, administrators, governors, senators, and, in certain contexts, visitors. In order for the members of the university community to participate fully and effectively in the university’s purpose, certain standards of conduct must be recognized and respected. The university’s policy and procedures involving disruptive and/or harassing behaviour by students in academic situations is available on this website:

http://www.unbc.ca/calendar/undergraduate/regulations

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