Graduate Courses

FALL 2021

DTS1000H1 Comparative Research Methods in DTS

Tuesdays, 1-3pm
Building: OI
Room: 2289
Kevin O’Neill 

This seminar will introduce students to a range of theories to do with diaspora and transnationalism from the humanities and the social sciences. Core questions will include the methodological differences between diaspora and its many synonyms, such as migrant communities, exile, refugee, etc. The different emphases and overlaps between Migration Studies, Urban Studies, and Diaspora and Transnational Studies will also be pursued.


DTS2000H1 Grad Topics: Global Capitalism

Wednesdays, 2-4pm
Building: WI
Room: 2006
Padraic Scanlan

This seminar explores approaches to the study of global industrial capitalism. An economic system for distributing goods through markets, capitalism is also a cultural and political formation and a system of social relations. The expansion of industrial capitalism, from the eighteenth century to the present moment of global crisis, has had a paradoxical effect. Industrialisation has vastly – although unevenly – increased wealth and standards of living for many. And yet, the mass migration, rapid movement of goods and capital, and global supply chains that support global capitalism have also displaced and dispossessed many millions. The seminar explores this paradox in historical perspective, with readings from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

JCD5135H Race Politics and Jewishness

Thursdays, 10am-12pm
Building: NF
Room: 008
Naomi Seidman

This course will trace the complicated history of Jewish racialization from the Spanish conception of limpieza de sangre (“the cleanness of blood”) to the “whitening” of (some) Jewish Americans and Jewish racial positioning today; we will also follow the tensions and coalitions of Jews and other racialized others, including Indigenous peoples, Palestinians, and Black, paying particular attention to Jewish-Black relations from the slave trade to the labor movement, the Women’s March, and Black Lives Matter. Alongside these historical studies, we will collaboratively build a theoretical apparatus for understanding the often-charged nexus between Jewish Studies and Critical Race Theory, reading Max Weinreich’s mobilization of the W.E.B. Du Bois’s “double consciousness”, Frantz Fanon’s dialogue with Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew, the controversy around Nadia Abu El-Haj’s The Genealogical Science, and Jewish responses to Frank Wilderson III’s Afropessimism. We will watch Al Jolson’s 1927 The Jazz Singer and Anna Deveare Smith’s 1992 Fires in the Mirror, and read early-twentieth-century Yiddish anti-lynching poetry, Toni Morrison’s 1977 Song of Solomon, and Philip Roth’s 2000 The Human Stain.

DTS2002H1 Rethinking Diaspora: Cultures, Futures, Homes

Tuesdays, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Building: OI
Room: 3310
Sumayya Kassamali

This graduate-level class considers the meaning of "diaspora" in the 21st century. What has happened to earlier divisions between place of origin and place of arrival in the context of ever-faster media technologies, shifts in national demographics due to increased migration and displacement, and new political calls to reckon with diversity and representation? Sitting in Toronto, how can we think together about the collapsing of space and time, nation and difference, arrival and departure, origin and identity? Drawing on examples rooted in contemporary global political conditions (war, migration, economic disparity, racial hierarchy, and more), we will build conceptual vocabularies to rethink "diaspora" beyond an earlier paradigm focused on hyphenated identity, multiculturalism, and intergenerational conflict. We will engage as many genres of cultural production as is possible in a short semester - alongside academic writing (primarily ethnography), we will read novels and essays, watch films, listen to podcasts, and more. Students will be expected to approach all genres with the same generosity and rigor they would bring to academic texts. Some prior familiarity with "diaspora" and "transnationalism" as both analytic and experiential categories is required.