Summer 2015 - HIST 322 D100

Atlantic and Pacific Migration (4)

Class Number: 3573

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 11 – Aug 10, 2015: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 18, 2015
    Tue, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Topics in the history of Atlantic and Pacific migrations to the Americas with attention given to the contexts from which the migrants came, why they migrated, and how they adjusted. Examples may be taken from the United States, Canada and Latin America.


Over the course of the last few centuries, great numbers of people have crossed both the Atlantic and the Pacific – just one part of a worldwide phenomenon that has resulted in the movement of millions of people in search of labour or other opportunities in places new to them. In this course, we will analyze and compare patterns of Atlantic and Pacific migration during this period, with a particular focus on the impact of these migrations on those areas of the Americas that now comprise Canada and the United States. In order to locate migration to these destinations within the larger context of transoceanic migration to the American continent as a whole, we will compare them to destination countries in Latin America at key junctures. Questions we will explore include identifying parallels and differences in the historical conditions that provided the impetus for emigration to North America, and the impact of Canadian and U.S. immigration law and policy on the shape migration streams across both the Atlantic and the Pacific assumed over time. We will also consider ways in which historical accounts of immigration have changed over time with an eye toward understanding why conventional narratives have come under increasing challenge by historians during recent decades. Other topics we will consider include forced migration, return migration, and the experiences of various immigrant groups in both urban and rural contexts.  
This course is designed to help students develop a critical understanding of transatlantic and transpacific migration history as it relates to Canada and the United States. It is also intended to give students a broad understanding of the patterns and processes associated with migration, and to familiarize students with comparative and transnational historical methodologies. This course will also provide students with an opportunity to hone their ability to critically evaluate historical evidence and scholarly arguments, and to develop scholarly arguments of their own.


  • Participation 20%
  • Presentation & Outline 10%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final Paper (primary and secondary source-based analysis) 25%
  • Final Exam 25%



Barrington Walker, ed., The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada: Essential Readings (Canadian Scholars Press, 2008).

Assigned articles and primary sources available through the SFU Library or Canvas.

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