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Migration Courses

Spring 2020 Courses

UC Berkeley offers a wide variety of courses touching upon the issue of migration. Want to find more courses? Continue looking for courses at UC Berkeley here or find Law courses at UC Berkeley here.

Contemporary Immigration in Global Perspective

Course number: 22921
Instructor: Irene Bloemraad
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 AM -12:29 PM
Description: The goal of this course is to introduce students to important academic and political debates around immigration, to discuss processes of immigration, integration, and exclusion in different national and cultural contexts, and to look at how the question of immigration plays out in different social and political areas.


Course number: 19980
Instructor: Tiffany L. Page
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM - 1:59 PM
Description: Advanced multidisciplinary research on current issues and topics in international and area studies. The course will focus on specific issues of geographical area with appropriate comparative material included. A major research project is required as well as class presentations.

Conducting Quantitative Research on Migration

Course number: 30467
Instructor: Leora E. Lawton
Schedule: Tuesday 2:00 PM - 3:59 PM, Wednesday 10:00 AM - 10:59 AM
Description: In this course, we will be studying basic concepts and patterns in migration theory, and also learning how to write a quantitative research paper using data about migration. You will learn how to identify a research topic that is meaningful and interesting to you. Acceptable projects will be interdisciplinary topics in the area of demography, family, labor, health, aging, and related topics. In this course, students will engage do an entire research project from start to finish, including  • identifying the topic and formulating a question, • conducting a literature review, • developing a model, analyzing the data, interpreting and presenting the results. Students are encouraged to 'pair' this course with another substantive course such as DEMOG/SOCIOL C126 (Sex, Death, Data), Family Sociology (SOCIOL 111AC), and many others. This class can also be in preparation for an honors thesis or mentored research with faculty.

Topics in Race, Gender, and Migration in Latin America

Course number: 22566
Instructor: Elizabeth B. Schwall
Schedule: Monday/Wednesday 12:00 PM - 1:59 PM
Description: This class aims to support students with thesis projects on Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as those on race, gender, and migration in the Americas more broadly or examining Latin America comparatively in world history. Students will write a 25-30 page paper on some aspect of political, social, cultural, or economic history. Class meetings and assignments will revolve around independent research and writing, incrementally building toward the extended final research paper. We will work together on developing research questions, finding and analyzing primary sources (especially in Spanish and Portuguese when possible), situating original analysis in relation to prior scholarship, and developing a well-written final paper. Given the rich sources available at the Bancroft Library, students will have the opportunity (and be encouraged) to analyze relevant archival materials in their backyard. This challenging but rewarding seminar requires that students do the work of a historian, that is, produce a solid and compelling piece of scholarly research. In the process, students will also sharpen valuable transferrable skills of time management, research, clear writing, and originality. Students who plan to enroll in this seminar are strongly encouraged to contact the instructor during the fall semester to discuss potential research topics and sources. Instructor bio: Elizabeth Schwall earned her Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Columbia University in 2016. She has held fellowships at Northwestern University and New York University and has taught at Stanford University. Her book manuscript, “Dancing with the Revolution: A Political History of Cuban Dancers,” in preparation for the University of North Carolina Press, examines dance and politics in Cuba from 1930-1990.

Sociology of Gender, Migration, and Citizenship in Comparative Perspective

Course number: 17273
Instructor: Andy S. Chang, Laura J Enriquez
Schedule: Tuesday 12:00 PM - 1:59 PM
Description: Advanced study in sociology, with specific topics to be announced at the beginning of each semester.

Border Geographies, Migration, and Decolonial Movements of Latin America

Course number: 30924
Instructor: TBA
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM - 1:59 PM
Description: This course examines how today’s bounded geographies were shaped by racialized and regionalized discourse and practice, setting the foundation for contemporary struggles over political, economic and social identities along and across Latin America. Specifically, the course incorporates the study of the United States’ historical relationship with Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean in order to understand how these histories map onto the productions of borders, regimes of migration and citizenship, and movements that increasingly articulate a decolonial turn in intellectual thought and within political and social action.

Graduate Seminar: The Arts of Migration/ The Arts of the Folk

Course number: 30627
Instructor: Margaretta M Lovell
Schedule: Wednesday 2:00 PM - 4:59 PM
DescriptionThis seminar takes as its subject two kinds of artworks—first, those made by migrating peoples chronicling their journeys or commenting on the facts of their migration (such as Hmong story cloths and the Aztec codices), and in some cases, artworks made by others, not migrants themselves, who nevertheless made migration a major theme (such as Dorothea Lange who photographed the dust bowl migrations to California, and Jacob Lawrence who chronicled the migration north of African Americans). Second, we will look at the arts of traditional communities that base their artifact production on longstanding, ecologically localized and distinctive practices in, for instance, architecture, ceramics, quilt making or basket making. Issues include nostalgia, memory, sentiment, trauma; cultural heritage; the remaking or confirmation of the social order; the selection of what is to be seen, remembered, recoiled from, embraced, what is to be taught to future generations/outsiders concerning fear, courage, pride, self-definitions, accusations, and authenticity. Students are encouraged to research topics of personal interest that are congruent with the seminar’s basic outlines and that are represented in collections at the university or in the Bay Area


Course number: 19815
Instructor: Sharad Chari
Schedule: Monday/Wednesday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Description: How and why are geographical patterns of employment, production, and consumption unstable in the contemporary world? What are the consequences of NAFTA, an expanded European Community, and post-colonial migration flows? How is global restructuring culturally reworked locally and nationally?

The Repeopling of America

Course number: 22955
Instructor: David M Henkin
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30 PM - 4:59 PM
Though there are many ways to imagine a nation (a land, a polity, an ethnic group, a culture), America has also been identified, since its inception, with the process and prospect of people arriving from elsewhere. What is the historical basis for this idea? This course surveys the history of the United States between 1790 and 2001 through the lens of immigration and from the perspective of immigrants. Course requirements include regular participation in the weekly discussion section, one close reading of assigned primary sources, one research paper, two in-class exams, and a final exam

Identity of Europe and European Identities

Course number: 22253
Instructor: TBD
Schedule: Thursday 2:00 PM - 3:59 PM
Description: Ideas of Europe and European Identities engages with a critical reflection on the notion of Europe and European identities, either from a historical and/or a contemporary perspective. It provides a critical explanatory analysis of issues relating to European history, European borders, integration and disintegration, migration, transnational Europe, postcolonial Europe, and/or the position of Europe in a globalized world.

Globalization and Minority American Communities

Course number: 18812
Instructor: Stephan A Small
Schedule: Monday/Wednesday 5:00 PM - 6:29 PM
An examination of the movement of individuals, ideas, ideologies, and institutions between minority American communities in the U.S. (African Americans, Asians, Chicanos) and their cultures of origin, in the 19th and 20th centuries. The course will utilize the concepts of "migration," "diaspora," "otherness," "multiculturalism," and "global village" and will draw largely on social science perspectives.

Aspects of French Culture- Arts of the Border: Refugee Itineraries and Identities

Course number: 22954
Instructor: Debarati Sanyal
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM - 1:59 PM
Description: How and why did American society become racially and ethnically diverse? This comparative study of racial minorities and European immigrant groups examines selected historical developments, events, and themes from the 17th century to the present.

A Comparative Survey of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the U.S. 

Course number: 19687
Instructor: Victoria Ellen Robinson
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30 PM - 4:59 PM
Description: This survey course will examine the historical experiences of European immigrants, African Americans, and Latinos, emphasizing the themes of migration and economic change since the late 19th century. Though the class will focus on the three groups, the course will also address salient features of the experiences of Asian Americans, Native Americans, and recently arrived immigrants in light of the themes of the course. Intragroup differences such as class and gender will be discussed.

A Sustainable World: Challenges and Opportunities 

Course number: 10650
Instructor: Marlon Maus, David Malcolm Potts
Schedule: Wednesday 4:00 PM - 5:59 PM
Description: Human activity and human numbers threaten the possibility of irreversible damage to the fragile biosphere on which all life depends. The current generation of students is the first one to face this existential problem and it may be the last one that can solve it. The goal of this course is for faculty with expertise in the many variables involved-energy consumption, food security, population growth, and family planning, climate change, governance, migration, resource consumption, etc.- to give one-hour presentations on their specific topic. Teacher Scholars supervised by a GSI will facilitate student discussion groups, who will then prepare brief statements responding to the challenge presented, and suggest ways of ameliorating the problems

"Travelers, Immigrants, Refugees: Introduction to Jewish History and Literature"

Course number: 22731
Instructor: Oren Moshe Yirmiya
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 AM - 10:59 AM
Description: The history of Jewish peoplehood is one of constant migration, of moving from place to place by choice or force, and building a home on new grounds. This class will chart the trajectories of Jews throughout history, from biblical times to modernity. We will trace this movement around the globe by sampling the fiction, poetry, and essays left in its wake. Through surveying cultural expressions across time and geographies, the class presents Jewish identity and its many iterations, exploring lineages such as Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi heritage and intersections of gender and sexuality. The class syllabus contains three sections. The first introduces canonical sacred texts of Judaism, covering relevant narratives from the Tanakh, the Talmud, Midrash, and the Passover Haggadah. The second section explores the cosmopolitan transformation of Jewish culture through poetry, travelogues, and philosophy from medieval Iraq, Iran, and Andalusia (Southern Spain). The third section jumps forward to the 20th century, presenting the literature of Jewish immigrants before and after WWII, as they travel back and forth among Europe, North-Africa, Mandatory Palestine, Israel, and the US. The course intends to give Jewish Studies minors and students at large a general introduction to the field of Jewish Studies. No previous knowledge of Judaism or Jewish Studies is necessary.

Immigration and Citizenship

Course number: 23136
Instructor: Carrie Rosenbaum
Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 AM - 10:59 AM
Description: We often hear that America is a "nation of immigrants." This representation of the U.S. does not explain why some are presumed to belong and others are not. We will examine both historical and contemporary laws of immigration and citizenship to see how the law has shaped national identity and the identity of immigrant communities. In addition to scholarly texts, we will read and analyze excerpts of cases and the statute that governs immigration and citizenship, the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Freshman Seminar - Immigration in France: The Arabic Paris

Course number: 30856
Instructor: Thoraya S. Tlatli
Schedule: Thursday 2:00 PM -  2:59 PM
Description: This course is designed to give a new perspective on the city of Paris when it is considered through the perspective of its immigration history. It is, as well, an introduction to the history of North African immigration in France in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. We will consider the ways in which the city of Paris has been somehow redefined by its North African immigrant population by examining cultural documents, such as films, music, food, and literature. Course taught in ENGLISH. No knowledge of French is needed. For additional details, please visit the dept. website at

Topical Seminars in Developmental Psychology- Psychological Research on Children of Immigrant Families

Course number23063
Instructor: Qing Zhou
Schedule: Thursday 2:00 PM - 4:59 PM
Description: This class requires an application for admittance along with the completion of Psych 130 and 141. It is NOT limited to psychology majors. Application deadline: 11/29. Decision deadline: 12/13. Application:

Law and Social Change

Course number: 30435
Instructor: Kathryn R. Abrams
Schedule: Wednesday 3:00 PM - 5:59 PM
Description: This course will explore the relationship between social movements and the law (ie, statutes, administrative regulations, judicial decisions, and policies and practices of enforcement, at both state and federal levels), focusing on the movement for immigrant rights led and populated by undocumented activists. We will examine that movement as it has emerged both nationally and in the state of Arizona. We will ask how legal action has spurred the formation of a social movement, and how that movement has sought to influence, resist, and transform the law. We will study the ways in which the movement in Arizona has faced a distinctive legal landscape: state legislation and state and local enforcement tactics have made the state almost uniquely hostile for immigrants, yet they have also enabled activists to use the federal courts and the Constitution as vehicles for change. We will also examine the ways in which the movement in Arizona has coalesced with a national movement for immigrant rights, as it has sought legislative and administrative goals: a path to legalization for DREAMers (undocumented youth), comprehensive immigration reform, and relief from deportations. We will finally consider how major changes in the leadership and direction of federal institutions with plenary power over immigration have demanded a conceptual and tactical response from this movement, analyzing the transition between Obama and Trump administrations. The course will seek to answer two primary questions about the undocumented activists who are now at the center of this movement: first, how movement participants with no formal institutional role – and in this case, no formal legal status – have become confident and sophisticated legal claims-makers whose actions shape the law and its enforcement; and second, how those participants conceive law and legal institutions, and their own relation to them. The course will also be concerned with the role(s) of lawyers who collaborate with, assist, and work on behalf of the movement; we will consider how these roles may depart from conventional forms of legal representation.

Immigrant Song: The Literature of Viking-Age Scandinavian Travel, Exploration, and Settlement

Course number: 21662
Instructor: Liam Liam Waters
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 8:00 AM - 9:29 PM
Description: From the shores of Newfoundland to the halls of Byzantium, the history of Scandinavian activity in the Viking-Age is one defined by travel, exploration, and settlement. Whether raiding the shores of Britain and Ireland, settling the fields of Iceland or traveling by camelback to Baghdad, the range of places journeyed to and activities undertaken by medieval Scandinavian peoples varied substantially. In this course, we will analyze the context and form of medieval texts as well as explore the historical motivations for Viking Age activities during this seminal period of history. In so doing, we will develop critical and analytic thinking skills, hone thesis-writing techniques, and analyze the forms and strategies of compelling writing. Together, we will investigate the interplay between the content, style, and organization in our own writing. Our aim will be to develop and practice reading, critical analysis, and composition with an eye towards academic research. As such, we will discuss the use of secondary sources, citation, and critique.

The New Second Generation

Course number: 18465 & 22618
Instructor: Carolyn E Chen
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 AM - 12:29 PM | Friday 2:00 PM - 4:59 PM
Description: Since the liberalization of immigration policy in 1965, immigrants and their children have become a significant part of American society. In some major American cities, they comprise over 50% of the population. This course offers a social scientific examination of the experiences of “the new second generation.” We will explore how the experiences of the new second-generation compare to their immigrant parents, as well as vary across race, ethnicity, and class. We will ask how well the new second generation is integrating into, as well as transforming, American society. The course examines these questions through topics such as economic mobility, racial and ethnic identity, religion, family, education, dating, and mental health.

Introduction to the History of Asians in the United States

Course number: 19022
Instructor: Michael Omi
Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 AM - 12:29 PM
Description: Introductory comparative analysis of the Asian American experience from 1848 to present. Topics include an analysis of the Asian American perspective; cultural roots; immigration and settlement patterns; labor, legal, political, and social history.

Chinese American History

Course number: 19043
Instructor: Harvey C Dong
Schedule:  Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 AM - 10:59 PM
Description: Chinese American history, 1848 to present. Topics include the influence of traditional values, Eastern and Western; patterns of immigration and settlement; labor history; the influence of public policy, foreign and domestic, on the Chinese individual and community.

Language in the United States: a Capsule History

Course number: 30594
Instructor: Richard A Rhodes
Schedule:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00 PM - 12:59 PM
Description: This course brings together history, sociology, and linguistics to develop a deeper view of who we are as a nation. It is organized as a narrative history of the U.S. from the perspective of immigration and language. We devote significant portions to the languages of Native Americans, African American English, and to the Spanish spoken in the U.S., as well as addressing the various other dialects of American English, the numerous smaller immigrant languages, Hawaiian, and ASL.

American Hustle

Course number: 23471
Instructor: Poulomi Saha
Schedule:  Tuesday/Thursday 4:00 PM - 4:59 PM
Description: This course, which constitutes a survey of ethnic American literature, asks about the desires, imagination, and labor that go into the American dream. What is the relationship between immigration and dreams of upward mobility in America? This course will examine films, novels, and short stories in which the American dream comes apart at the seams to think about the fantasies of belonging and prosperity that fuel immigration and its effect on how we think about race, ethnicity, class, and citizenship. We will examine the ways in which people negotiate relationships to the state and to a sense of Americanness through fantasies of economic prosperity and increased possibility—how do some communities come to be figured as “model minorities” and others burdens on the state? In this class, we are going to do and to talk about work: getting work, making it work, working the system. We will study narratives of struggle, belonging, becoming, and coming undone across a variety of immigrant and ethnic American communities. There is no singular America that we will seek to depict in this class: its fractures, failures, and acts of violence are of as much interest to us as its bounty, promise, and welcome. For this reason, we will engage a range of historical, sociological, and theoretical material to understand how ethnic and racial categories have been formed and produced in America. Students will develop a critical vocabulary for race, gender, and class in contemporary America and an understanding of their historical antecedents. Texts may include: W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart; and Jish Gen, Mona in the Promise Land. This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement. See also

Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities

Course number: 31010
Instructor: Carolyn E Chen
Schedule:  Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 AM - 10:59 PM
Description: The course examines critical issues in Asian American communities today. In particular, the course will focus on key themes, such as immigration, identity, discrimination, mental health, and political power. An important objective of this course is educating students on social justice issues facing the Asian American community.

Topics in Chicano Studies

Course number: 19256
Instructor: Pablo Gonzalez
Schedule:  Tuesday 5:00 PM - 7:59 PM
Description: Topics in Latino/a-related art, history and contemporary issues, such as neighborhood development (e.g., Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, Mission district of San Francisco), mural arts movements, Spanish-language media, labor history, unionization efforts, immigration, demographic shifts, regional economic and/or social history, and transnational communities. Course topics will vary with the expertise of the particular instructor.

Contemporary Xicanx/Latinx Art Production

Course number: 19257
Instructor: Jesus Vicente Barraza
Schedule:  Monday 3:00 PM - 5:59 PM
Description: This course examines contemporary Xicanx/Latinx artistic production, from the early-1980s to the 2010s, through an examination of the historical, aesthetic and philosophical foundations of these artistic movements. Tracing the inspirations of contemporary Xicanx and Latinx art from the Chicana/o Art Movement and Latin American Contemporary Art to understand how the development of these movements as part of a political, cultural, and social revolution. Students will have the opportunity to take what they learn from lectures and discussions and work on an art project on campus.

Americans in Mexico and Mexicans in the US from the early 19th century to the present

Course number: 19959
Instructor: Margaret Chowning
Schedule:  Tuesday 10:00 AM - 11:59 AM
Description: This course has the broad goal of giving students insight into how historians use primary sources. First, we will read/watch North American travel writing, art, film, and photography about Mexico, and we will pair that with academic work from both North American scholars and Mexican scholars that utilize that work. For example, we will read John Kenneth Turner’s exposé of labor conditions in early 20th-century Mexico, Barbarous Mexico, alongside the parts of Claudio Lomnitz’s The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón that rely on that work. Second, we will read in the scholarly literature about Mexicans in the US (exiles, immigrants, travelers) as well as some of the sources on which that literature relies. For example, we might sample Paul Taylor’s 1930s interviews with Mexican migrants to the U.S. and read Devra Weber’s Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton, and the New Deal. Ability to read in Spanish not required.

Mobility and Migration in American History

Course number: 19922
Instructor: TBD
Schedule:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00 PM - 12:59 PM
Description: Immigrants; emigrants; pilgrims; pioneers; tourists; travelers; transients; fugitives; passengers; exiles. All these words connote human movement, yet each defines a particular type of movement. In this class, we will explore how such categories were socially constructed and contested, while also questioning how migration and mobility created the United States. Surveying American history from the colonial period through the twentieth century, we will examine what movement and migration meant to numerous peoples across time and space, and across ethno-racial, social, economic, and national backgrounds. What did mobility mean to the fugitive slave? The middle-class white woman in a train car? The frontier settler? The foreign immigrant? The tourist at Niagara? By examining a wide range of people on the move, we will focus on a few core questions: How did motivations to move and technologies of travel change over time, and what did they mean to different people? How did voluntary and involuntary movement facilitate the construction of the American nation-state? How and why was migration encouraged, contested, and restricted? By reading primary and secondary sources, participating in engaged discussion, and developing skills in close reading and analytical writing, we will also garner a clearer understanding of the historian’s craft (these are also skills necessary for any number of professional pursuits). Assignments will include short writings, peer review, and a larger final project. Instructor bio: J.T. Jamieson is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department, broadly concerned with the history and culture of the nineteenth-century United States. His current work explores how nineteenth-century reform movements both coalesced around and were fractured by the moral, intellectual, and political consequences of migration.

Economic Demography

Course number: 22178 & 22179
Instructor: Ryan D Edwards, Leslie Jane Root, Katarina H Jensen, Felipe Menares Salas, Andrea Miranda Gonzalez
Schedule:  Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM - 1:59 PM
Description:  A general introduction to economic demography, addressing the following kinds of questions: What are the economic consequences of immigration to the U.S.? Will industrial nations be able to afford the health and pension costs of the aging populations? How has the size of the baby boom affected its economic well being? Why has fertility been high in Third World countries? In industrial countries, why is marriage postponed, divorce high, fertility so low, and extramarital fertility rising? What are the economic and environmental consequences of rapid population growth?

Ethics and Justice in International Affairs

Course number: 21430
Instructor: Amy Gurowitz
Schedule:  Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM - 1:59 PM
Description: Should nations intervene in other countries to prevent human rights abuses or famine? On what principles should immigration be based? Should wealthy states aid poorer states, and if so, how much? Who should pay for global environmental damage? Answers to these moral questions depend to a great degree on who we believe we have an obligation to: Ourselves? Nationals of our country? Residents of our country? Everyone in the world equally? We will examine different traditions of moral thought including skeptics, communitarians, cosmopolitans, and use these traditions as tools to make reasoned judgments about difficult moral problems in world politics.

Social Work with Latino Populations

Course number: 10292
Instructor: Kurt C Organista
Schedule:  Tuesday 10:00 AM - 11:59 AM
Description: This graduate-level course prepares social workers in training and students in allied fields to provide culturally sensitive and competent services to members of major U.S. Latino populations. The course is designed to enhance cultural sensitivity by using multiple relevant social science theories and frameworks to teach about social and cultural experiences of U.S. Latinos; to enhance culturally competent practice skills by teaching a comprehensive Latino practice model; and to provide a selective review of best/promising practices for various psychosocial and health problems within Latino populations. Latino diversity is addressed from a social justice perspective, emphasizing undocumented Latinos and immigration policy issues.

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