Summer 2021 - HUM 360 D100

Special Topics: Great Themes in the Humanistic Tradition (4)

Mass Migration & Refugees

Class Number: 3420

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



An interdisciplinary study of a selected theme that has made a lasting contribution to the humanistic tradition in more than one field of endeavour(e.g. philosophy, politics, literature,economics, religion). This course may be repeated once for credit. Students who have credit for a course with this content under another Humanities course may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


The Liberating Sea? Mass Migration in the Ancient Mediterranean: An advanced survey of population movements in the ancient world

The 2015 Migration Crisis, where over one million individuals desperately tried to reach Europe in perilous conditions across the Mediterranean Sea, brought the significance of mass migrations into focus for the global community. Furthermore, the mass movement of peoples into Europe has triggered a wave of populism that has seen far right groups gain increasing influence in the continent – with Italy’s Lega being one of several parties to use anti-immigrant rhetoric to gain influence. Despite the dramatic changes in Europe, the mass migration of peoples is not a new phenomenon. In fact, the large-scale migration of individuals has been a quintessential part of the human experience in the Mediterranean throughout recorded history. Specifically, the ancient world, from the Fertile Crescent to the rise of Rome, was a time and place where migrations occurred with great regularity. We must ask ourselves to what degree have the experiences of migration in the past been different from those of the present? How did migrants perceive themselves in the past? How did the political entities of the past perceive migrants and refugees? Finally, how did travelers conceive of new lands? By answering these questions pertaining to mass migration in the ancient world in an online learning environment, students will gain a greater understanding of the overall human experience.

Note that students can choose to attend lectures either live or access a recording afterwards. No graded component is attached to the live lectures. Live lectures will be held on BB Collaborate on Wednesdays, 13:00-15:30. Recordings can be found under the recordings tab in BB Collaborate.

Lectures in this course will be recorded. As a result, Simon Fraser University may collect your personal information under the authority of the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.B.C., 1996, c. 165). It is related directly to and needed by the University to support student learning. If you have any questions about the collection, use and disclosure of this information please contact your instructor


  • Remote Discussions 20%
  • Paper Proposal 10%
  • Quiz One 15%
  • Quiz Two 15%
  • Final Paper 40%



All texts will either be available online at the SFU Library or provided by the instructor.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  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 ( or 778-782-3112).