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History & Politics of Global Migration




Admissions requirements

Birth of the Modern World


In this course we will examine how migration has shaped the modern world. Most of our focus will be dedicated to what has occurred since the 1700s. We will start by looking at the various theories put forward to explain why people migrate and what effect this has for the sender communities, the receiver communities and for migrants themselves. We will then turn to more empirical examples of migration. Each week we will examine a different type of movement. One weekly seminar will be dedicated to an historical case study involving the analysis of primary sources, while the other weekly seminar will focus on a more contemporary case study on a related type of movement. Topics covered include slavery, colonial and post-colonial migration, labour migration, internal migration and asylum. Due to the global nature of the course, texts will include studies concerning Africa, North America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, the Gulf States and Australia.

Course objectives


  • To provide students with a range of opportunities to develop their analytical and presentation skills.

  • To apply migration theory to the analysis of empirical case studies.

  • To facilitate students to independently formulate clear and well-argued opinions concerning migration.


  • To provide students with an overview of how migration has affected modern society.

  • To enable students to consider contemporary migration debates from historical perspectives.

  • To expose students to the various disciplinary approaches that scholars use to examine migration.

  • To develop students’ insight into how migration has influenced the modern world.

  • To encourage students to compare and contrast past migration with more contemporary patterns and debates.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course will be taught predominantly through seminars. The first seminar of the week will focus on historical migration and will feature a short overview from the instructor about the topic under analysis in the first half of the class. A short group presentation (c. 15 minutes) will present a primary source relating to the topic under discussion (e.g. a written account of an indentured migrant’s experiences in the nineteenth century) in the second half of the class. The reading(s) will also be analysed and debated.

The second seminar of the week, which concentrates on more contemporary issues, will be predominantly student-led. Seminars will mostly involve a discussion of the weekly literature and in addition, selected video clips, art, music, podcasts and other sources will also be used throughout.


  • Participation (15%)

  • Literature reviews (20%)

  • Account of interview with asylum seeker/refugee/migrant (10%)

  • Group presentations on primary sources (10%)

  • Elevator pitch (5%)

  • Final essay (40%)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Most of the readings will take the form of articles that can be downloaded from the university library. The list will be distributed in advance of the first meeting via Blackboard. Primary sources will also be provided for each week.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact



This course will touch on some aspects covered by Dr. Ann Wilson in her 200-level course Historical Approaches to Diversity: Racism in Historical Perspective.