Fall 2020 - HUM 381 D100

Selected Topics in the Humanities I (4)

Population Movements and Identity

Class Number: 8151

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Population Movements, Ethnic Cleansing, and Identity Formation in the Balkans

   The twenty-first century has been termed the “century of people on the move” but this is not a new development. Instead, population movements have defined the human experience for much of recorded history, especially in the modern era. Contemporary developments with regards to refugees have simply highlighted how much identity is tied to the mass movement of peoples, both in terms of those moving and those in the recipient lands. Throughout the modern period Southeastern Europe and the Near East have undergone several periods of migration, and the mass movement of peoples and the politics attached to these developments, up to and including ethnic cleansing, have helped shape the identities of the various peoples in the region.
   This course examines how the Balkans and the Near East’s experience with population movements and conflict during the modern era have helped the various identities of the different peoples in the region. In the remote lectures and group discussions, students will examine: What is the relationship between identity formation, minorities, and conflict? How has the experience of minorities and refugees differed throughout the region? Has this experience with minorities and refugees affected the various nation-state’s approach to national identity? By answering these questions and more, students will not only hone their analytical skills, but simultaneously apply them to understanding one of the defining political and human experiences of the contemporary world.


  • Paper Proposal 10%
  • Remote Discussions 20%
  • Four Quizzes 40%
  • Final Paper 30%


Note that students can choose to attend lectures either live or access a recording afterwards. No graded component is attached to the live lectures.



All required readings will be available either online or at the SFU Library.

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.

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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).