Spring 2022 - LBST 331 D100

Selected Topics in Labour Studies (4)

Labour and Working-Class History

Class Number: 5865

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2503, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    John-Henry Harter
    Office Hours: office hours will be virtual – anytime by appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    Will vary according to topic. LBST 101 is strongly recommended for all upper division LBST courses.



Selected topics in areas not currently offered within the undergraduate course offerings. Students may take more than one offering of LBST Selected Topics courses for credit, as long as the topic for each offering is different.


The course will examine the history of work and workers in Canada. Through a combination of lectures, films, small assignments, and class discussions we will consider the history of class struggle in Canada. We will examine how class, race, and gender divisions were exploited by employers and government to maintain hegemony. We will also consider the role of workers in the struggle for social and economic justice.


This course will allow students to learn about the history of the working class in Canada and how this history informs both the contemporary labour movement and class issues more broadly. This course will also expand students’ knowledge of current concepts in the field of labour studies, history, and class politics. The course will draw on students' experiences as they develop research, writing, and presentation skills through the class assignments. In addition, lectures, class discussions, and activities will provide the tools we need to use history to help understand the relationship between labour and capital.


  • Participation 15%
  • Short assignment 1 (reading history short paper) 15%
  • Short assignment 2 (place yourself in history short paper) 15%
  • Annotated Bibliography (bibliography and outline of final project 10%
  • Final Project 45%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Labour Studies Program follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Mark Leier, Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden Revolutionary, Mystic, Labour Spy Vancouver [B.C.]: New Star Books.


Donica Belisle, Purchasing Power: Women and the Rise of Canadian Consumer Culture. University of Toronto Press, 2020.

Additional assigned readings will be available online through 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.