Fall 2020 - IS 230 D100

Beyond the Nation-State: Identity and Belonging in a Globalized World (3)

Class Number: 4980

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2020
    2:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



This course surveys the diverse ways people have fashioned identities and social relations that do not easily conform to the boundaries of nation-states. Explores how, in the context of transnational movements of people and ideas, individuals and communities construct and contest new identities, aspirations, and forms of belonging. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


In this course, we will explore diverse ways that people have forged and resisted connections, including through: the transnational movements of people, ideas, and capital; the construction of identities through us/other distinctions; modes of exchange; and the manipulation of particular forms of power and inequality. It will provide a strong foundation for future scholarship related to: international migration and diaspora studies; the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender; structural inequality; cultural commodification; globalized rights movements; and the changing dynamics of nationalism and cosmopolitanism.


Through this course, students will (a) develop appreciation for how collective identities have been constructed around notions of belonging and difference, the power such distinctions can wield, and the work that goes into deconstructing categories; and (b) gain understanding about how transnational processes have affected understandings of the nation-state and nationalism as well as globalization. Students will also develop their skills in appraising how case studies of human life can inform theories of human organization, and critically engaging with key concepts through written essays and discussion participation.


  • Tutorial participation 15%
  • Reading Response Essay 1 (1000 words) 10%
  • Combined Reading Response Essay 2 (1000 words) 10%
  • Research Paper (2500 words) 30%
  • Combined Reading Response Essay 3 (1000 words) 10%
  • Take-home Exam 25%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.


This course will be delivered via online platforms, such as Zoom, Canvas, Blackboard, etc.

Students are required to have a computer, with a microphone, webcam, and speakers. They also must have good access to the Internet.

Microsoft Office is required, and a free version of Office 365 is available to SFU students here: https://www.sfu.ca/itservices/technical/software/office365.html.

Students will be required to upload assignments to Canvas and through Turnitin.com.



Book: Anderson, Benedict. 2016 [1983]. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.ca/Imagined-Communities-Reflections-Origin-Nationalism/dp/1784786756/.
*All students must have access to this book by Week 1 of the course.*

All other course readings will be available electronically via SFU Library and hyperlinked through the course Canvas page.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).