HIST 5314A:  Settler Colonialism and Migration
Winter 2025

Instructor: Professor Laura Madokoro

Introduction: The subjects of settler colonialism and migration are both distinct and deeply inter-connected. Settler colonialism is often distilled as the dispossession and displacement of Indigenous peoples and yet recent scholarship has complicated when and how this has occurred historically, and the shape and character of settler colonialism in the present. Relatedly, migration is often defined as the movement across international borders yet such a focus ignores the history of mobility prior to the creation of nation-state borders, particularly among Indigenous peoples, and internally to nation-states in the present. Taking a global perspective, with a special focus on the Canadian context and that of other white settler societies, this seminar explores the subjects of settler colonialism and migration in tandem to investigate the nature of mobility, settlement, and displacement in the past and present.

Class Format: This graduate seminar meets once a week over a three-hour block in which we will discuss readings, films, and exhibitions and consider the evolving relationship between migration and settler colonialism in Canada.

Assessment: As this seminar is based on engaged participation, there is a self-assessment grade for participation, as well as an assessment of weekly reading reflections in addition to a final research project.

Text: Readings for the course consist of a variety of essays and academic articles as well as a range of textual, audio, and visual primary sources. 

Aims and Goals: A key goal of this course is to challenge some received notions about settler colonialism and migration and how they have operated historically and into the present. The seminar will explore the making of analytical frameworks (such as settler colonialism itself) and delve into the historical construction of categories such as migrant and settler. The aim is to explore and understand the layered and inter-connected way in which settler colonialism and migration have operated on multiple scales including the global, national, and local in the past and how they continue to manifest in the present. 

Questions? Please e-mail me at laura.madokoro@carleton.ca