Spring 2022 - CMNS 487 D100

Special Topics in Communication (4)

Migration and Media

Class Number: 3284

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SSCK 8652, Burnaby

  • 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 extent 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.


Students will develop a critical and comprehensive understanding of migration as an intrinsic part of human history, and explore how migration has been shaped by media representations and practices. 


  • Attendance 25%
  • Presentation 25%
  • Proposal 10%
  • Final research paper 40%



All the readings will be available on 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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.