Spring 2021 - CMNS 487 D100

Special Topics in Communication (4)

Migration and Media

Class Number: 7682

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 27, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    Depends on topic; published before enrollment.



Intensive analysis of a particular topic in communication and/or attention to the work of a particular writer or school of thought. This course can be repeated for credit up to a maximum of three times, if topic studied is different.


This course will introduce how migration, the mass movement of the human population, is deeply interwoven with capitalist uneven development and globalization. The first part of the course will present how unequal power structures, such as capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, racism, and patriarchy, have shaped the process and consequences of human migration in historical and contemporary contexts. Specifically, we will explore a wide range of migrant populations whose circumstances display huge disparity and inequality, including transatlantic enslaved people, European colonial settlers, rural-to-urban migrants, elite immigrants, transnational migrant workers, and asylum seekers and refugees. The second part of the course will be focused on the relation between migration and media. Questions to be addressed include, how have mainstream media represented migrant populations in various geopolitical contexts? What is the role of media, culture, and digital technologies in designating migrants’ lives? To what extend have digital media facilitated activism and resistance among immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers at local, national, and transnational levels? By taking the course, students are expected to develop a critical understanding of migration, capitalist globalization, and media.


  • Attendance and participation: 20%
  • Presentation: 30%
  • Project proposal: 10%
  • Final project: 40%


The class will be offered in a synchronous format that we meet every week during the scheduled class time. The lectures will be also recorded and made available on Canvas. 



No required textbook. Course readings will be made available online via Canvas. 

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 spring 2021 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).