Fall 2023 - SA 887 G200

Special Topics in Sociology/Anthropology (5)


Class Number: 5508

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Oct 6, 2023: Tue, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

    Oct 11 – Dec 5, 2023: Tue, 5:30–9:20 p.m.



An advanced seminar devoted to an in-depth examination of a topic not regularly offered by the department.


This course is focussed on sociological analysis of settler colonialism, Indigenous-settler relations, and Indigenousstate relations. Working from Indigenous theories on the contemporary shape of Indigenous-settler relations in Canada, we will examine how these relationships are structured around inequality, injustice, and struggles over sovereignty. We will examine how institutions such as law, the economy, and scientific knowledge production are sites of contention over Indigenous knowledge, land, and nationhood. Some of the specific topics we will grapple with in this course include: racism, whiteness, property, and possession; land, borders, and cities; the science, spatiality, and biopolitics of Indigenous identity; and the role of budgets and taxes in relation to Indigenous-Canada relations. The course ends with discussion of the future of reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenous-settler relationship building.


-Learn to thoughtfully analyze and theorize about Indigenous-settler relations
-Think at an advanced level about methodology and the structure of knowledge production for/about/with/from Indigenous peoples and Nations within the context of sociology
-Examine a broad range of social processes and structures that impact how Indigenous peoples and settlers interact, including race/racism, settler colonialism, the state, science, and capital.
-Develop skills in analyzing a range of source materials that are used to make claims about Indigeneity and Indigenous people and Nations.
-Critically analyze how sociology and social sciences in general have studied Indigenous peoples and Nations, and build a vision for how it can be different.


  • Reflection Paper 15%
  • Group Presentation 25%
  • Document Analysis 35%
  • Participation 25%


Assessment Details
The class has no exams so will rely on assignments and discussion for assessment. This means that you should be prepared to contribute both through your presence and engagement with materials in class, and be prepared to write.



There is no required text. All course readings will be uploaded on canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.