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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Immigration, Diversity and Multiculturalism in North America

Course Code: HIST 3325
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: History
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course considers immigration and nation-building in a comparative North American context, exploring and challenging the melting pot/mosaic dichotomy often used to explain differences in American and Canadian approaches to cultural diversity. The course will consider four waves of immigration (colonial, nineteenth century, turn-of-the-century, and twentieth century) and five main themes: host response to newcomers, displacement of Aboriginal peoples, newcomers’ immigration and resettlement experience, the use of immigration to build the nation, and evolving definitions of national identity and citizenship in light of influxes of newcomers.

Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1. Introduction
  2. Natives and Newcomers
  3. Colonies and Nations
  4. Labour, Part 1: Slaves and Indentured Servants
  5. Nation Creation and the West
  6. Transplanting: Ethno-Religious Communities and Identity
  7. Labour, Part 2: Forging New Immigration Policies
  8. The Politics of Race: The “Immigration Problem”
  9. The Politics of Race: “None is Too Many”
  10. Crossing the 49th Parallel
  11. Postwar Immigration
  12. Postwar Aboriginal Advocacy
  13. Paradigm and Policy: Melting Pot and Mosaic
  14. Diversity and Transnationalism: Immigration in a Global World

Methods of Instruction

Class sections will be divided between lectures and seminar discussions. The seminar discussion sessions will serve as a forum for the analysis and discussion of scholarly literature and as a testing ground for student hypotheses. The instructor will encourage students to elaborate, refine and revise ideas. Discussion sessions will also include tutorials in conducting historical research, the exploration of primary source documents, and practice in oral presentations. Participation in both lectures and seminar discussions is required for the successful completion of the course.

Methods may include:

  • lecture/discussion
  • group work
  • peer review
  • independent research
  • instructor feedback on students’ work
  • individual consultation
  • presentation (individual or group)

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accord with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme: Any combination of the following totalling 100%

Primary source document analyses


Research proposal and annotated bibliography


Research essay


Comparative book review


Seminar presentations


Class participation


Final examination




Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Examine historical sources critically and analytically. These sources include not only survey texts and scholarly articles, but also short monographs and extended primary sources. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor.
  2. Create and communicate personal interpretations of historical problems. This course is writing intensive. Forms for communication of personal interpretations include research proposals and annotated bibliographies, research essays (from 3000-5000 words), comparative book reviews, shorter interpretive essays, historiography analyses, primary source studies, and final examinations or final summative assignments.
  3. Analyze the ideas of other students and the instructor in both tutorials and seminars both independently and in cooperation with other students.

course prerequisites

One 1000 level course in History

Or the permission of the instructor

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.