Courses Offered

photo of students talking on a walkway at York surrounded by Autumn colours

Summer 2021

Priority for this course will be given to sociology students.  Letters of permission from students in other programs will be accepted starting late March.

SOCI 6090 3.0A - Selected Topics in Empirical Methods: Critical Approaches in Qualitative Research

Instructor: Professor Norene Pupo
Term: S1 (May 10 - June 21)
Time: Mondays/Wednesdays 2:30-5:30
Teaching Format:  REMOTE

One of the primary purposes in conducting social research is a search for social justice. This course starts with the assumption that social research is political and adopts an activist approach by posing fundamental questions regarding power relations, equity and fairness. In employing qualitative methods, sociologists engage in political processes in order to make sense of and understand social experiences and their meaning as expressed through face-to-face exchanges, images, observations and other practices. In this course, we will study these processes critically, assessing their power orientations as they are applied to the study of social problems and political issues, and as they may be understood by the disenfranchised and powerless. Our main objective is to develop an understanding of issues of power used to conceptualize research problems as well as to determine appropriate methodologies. These critical perspectives include feminism, postcolonial studies, poststructuralism, cultural studies, and anti-racism. We will also consider discourses and practices that maintain power imbalances and forms of inequality.

While this course requires students to engage actively in interviewing and in observation as well as to participate in discussions on approaches and techniques, the main emphasis is on theoretical knowledge of those methods and on the critical assessment of strengths and limits of qualitative research practices and designs. Designing a research project in order to uncover the significance and understanding of social interactions is essential, requiring thoughtful decisions about the researcher’s approach to the field and ability to connect with willing participants. This course will focus on two main strategies to gather qualitative data, namely, observation and in-depth interviewing. In approaching these methodologies, we will discuss how to ask the right questions, how to probe respondents in interviews, and how to determine the importance of topics that may seem to steer away from the central research question at hand. In addition, we will work to understand how our own preconceptions of the field and the issues we are studying may alter our interpretations of our data. We will ask what may prevent us from recognizing important emergent phenomena and we will discuss how to listen carefully and how to centre ourselves in our analysis. We will examine the roles of qualitative interviewing and observation in knowledge production and reproduction, the benefits of qualitative interviewing and its inter-subjective nature, the practices of reflexivity, and the art of hearing data and interpreting silences.

The course combines ‘hands on’ experience and different qualitative research strategies and practices with study of the literature, current debates and new directions in the field. Class discussions will engage with questions of epistemology, theory, methodological alternatives, analytical strategies as well as practices, techniques or procedures.

Fall/Winter 2021-2022

Letters of permission from students in other disciplines will be considered as of July 31, 2021.

SOCI 5901 3.0A (F)—Key Debates in Sociological Theory

Instructor: Philip Walsh
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Tuesdays 11:30–2:30

Rather than adopting a conventional chronological structure in the mold of a history of ideas (from classical to contemporary theory), the course is designed thematically around a series of core debates and oppositions that have defined—and continue to define—the field of critical sociological theory. Three central themes organize the course: a) epistemological (and meta-theoretical) debates, about the nature of theoretical knowledge and the constitution of a field or object of study known as ‘sociological theory’ (literature vs. science, essentialism vs. social constructivism, fact vs. value, etc.); b) paradigmatic debates, about the various theoretical paradigms, intellectual currents or schools of thought that have formed through relations of conflict and complementarity amongst each other within critical sociology (micro vs. macro, structuralism vs. post-structuralism, economism vs. culturalism, etc.) c) conceptual debates, about which concepts and notions are best suited to describe, analyze and produce a critique of the various dimensions of the social (structure vs. agency, modernity vs. postmodernity, sex vs. gender, etc.). While each debate tends to contain more than two positions, dichotomization is convenient for heuristic purposes.

SOCI 5995 3.0A (F)—MA Seminar (for MA sociology students only)

Instructor: Lorna Erwin
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Fridays 11:30–2:30

The MA Workshop is a discussion-based seminar for first-year graduate students in Sociology. Based on a cohort model, the course provides a supportive peer environment that is designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to successfully negotiate the transition from undergraduate to graduate education.

The goal is both to foster a critical awareness of the range of approaches in Sociology and to assist students in thinking critically about their engagement in research and especially about the nature of the questions that they wish to explore. Situating research in the literature, finding, using and evaluating sources, and presenting coherent arguments--such are the issues to be covered.

The major task of this course is the development of the MA Thesis or Research Review Paper (RRP) Proposal. Over the course of the semester, students will prepare a detailed proposal which will be completed in stages through a series of small assignments.

In the final weeks of the course, the emphasis will be on oral-presentation skills and understanding the conventions through which scholarly work is presented. Students will present their proposals in a simulated conference setting and will prepare a formal commentary on the work of their colleagues.

SOCI 6001 3.0A (F)—Doctoral Seminar I: Professional Development Workshop

Instructor: Eric Mykhalovskiy
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Mondays 11:30–2:30

The overall objectives of this workshop-based course are: (i) the development of professional skills for the academic and non-academic labour market; (ii) to facilitate timely progress through the program; and (iii) to contribute to the development of a research culture in the cohort and beyond.

SOCI 6002 3.0M (W)—Doctoral Seminar II: Professional Development Workshop

Instructor: Eric Mykhalovskiy
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Mondays 11:30–2:30

The objectives of this workshop-based course are: (i) the development of professional skills for the academic and non-academic labour markets; (ii) to facilitate academic progress after completion of the comprehensive exams; and (iii) to contribute to the development of a research culture in the cohort.

Pre-requisite: Completion of SOCI 6001 3.0: Doctoral Seminar 1, and registration in the second year of the Sociology PhD program.

SOCI 6060 3.0M (W)—Qualitative Methods

Instructor: Amber Gazso
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Tuesdays 11:30–2:30

For a description of this course, please contact Professor Gazso at

SOCI 6090 3.0A (F)—Selected Topics in Empirical Methods: Material Inequality

Instructor: Mike Ornstein
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Mondays 2:30–5:30

We focus on material inequality in Canada, in the context of the post-war global north. Understanding inequality requires dividing continuous distributions of income and wealth into theoretically meaningful and empirically defensible discrete categories. There is no perfect definition of poverty, the middle class and “top” incomes, not to mention Marxist classes. But operationalizing these concepts is a prerequisite to determining the level and causes of poverty, deciding if the middle class is declining, identifying the one percent and the capitalist class and comparing nations. The readings are mainly empirical and we emphasize broad methodological concerns about what aspects of inequality are measured and how. While no topic could be more sociological, broad-scale empirical research on inequality in Canada is largely the domain of economists. We cast a critical eye on their work, much of it very fine, but also framed by their discipline. As well as class, inequality is understood in the context of employment and the economy, the family and comparative studies of the welfare state.

SOCI 6090 3.0M (W)—Selected Topics in Empirical Methods: Emerging Perspectives in Epistemology and Method

Instructor: Glenn Stalker
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Thursdays 11:30–2:30

This course aims to extend the knowledge and sophistication of researchers by considering the implication of theoretical and epistemology assumptions and stances on the character of social science knowledge produced. As part of the ontological turn in the social sciences, critical realism, new materialism, and post-humanist perspectives will be studied with a particular focus on agential realism and the work of Karen Barad. These works will be complemented by revisiting Sociological, philosophical, and theoretical contributions that have resonance with aspects of these new directions.

Critical approaches to orthodox methods will be studied, including perspectives that are contributing to the development and wider adoption of practices that yield partial relational knowledge(s), including aboriginal, feminist, anti-colonial, and queer standpoint theories. Insights in these emerging areas inform an understanding of the use of power in social science knowledge and our relationship and responsibility to the communities we study. In addition, epistemological insights demonstrate the limits of deduction, falsification, and Newtonian conceptions of causality. Rather, focus is on relational and partial knowledge(s) that trouble often unacknowledged positivist assumptions and yield new approaches to the issue of representation in social science research. Critiques of standpoint theories will be addressed along with new approaches to address the ‘crisis of representation’ in research.

In this way, the course will draw upon post-structural and post-humanist insights and critiques to investigate how mainline social science research and findings may be imbricated with marginalization, the erasure of difference, and a regulatory view of ethics that may be inadequate when working with communities. These directions demonstrate the limits of Sociological debates that do not renew ontological understandings in theory and epistemology and are narrowly focused on distinctions between agency and structure, relativism and objectivity, micro and macro levels of analysis, and take a siloed disciplinary approach to method and knowledge.

It is expected that students will renew ontological assumptions in their areas of study and gain the epistemological knowledge needed to critically understand and assess the merits of any potential research practice that may be necessary in their future study and research. That is, the course is designed so that students avoid a technocratic repetition of method and, rather, seek to continually evaluate the extent to which claims and representations may be made, in addition to recognizing how emerging practices may lead to new knowledges. That is, as researchers we are conscious of the experiences and peoples that doing Sociology may obfuscate and the social standards and power disciplinary practices may reproduce.

SOCI 6112 6.0A (Y)—Quantitative Analysis

Instructor: Cary Wu
Term: Fall/Winter
Day/Time: Wednesdays 2:30–5:30

This course provides an examination of quantitative methods used in sociology and the social sciences, with a focus on linear modeling. A key objective is for students to learn how to apply appropriate statistical tests to data in response to a social research question for presentation and publication. The course emphasizes the analysis of survey data and the idea that models represent patterns in data, and statistical ideas are taught using examples from across the social sciences.

The first term of the course deals with basic descriptive and inferential statistics, significance tests, measures of association, and covers univariate and bivariate analyses. In the second term, we will begin with a review of descriptive and inferential statistics and then cover the basics of linear regression, including estimation, interpretation, hypothesis testing, model assumptions, and model fit.

Good data analysis entails developing sound theory, locating appropriate data sources, operationalizing key concepts, and building models that address research questions. To practice these skills, students will be required to complete a research project. The project will involve identifying and analyzing social science data utilizing the techniques covered in class and presenting the findings in a presentation (fall) to be developed into a paper (winter). In the end, the goal should be to produce a publishable research paper.

SOCI 6190 3.0A (F)—Selected Topics in Classical and Contemporary Theory: On the Margins and the Political: Debate and Experiences

Instructor: Ratiba Hadj-Moussa
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Tuesdays 2:30–5:30

How can we speak about the disenfranchised, economic and spatial inequalities, marginalization, bodies that don’t matter, the subalterns, and the possibility of making the political? If the political is the most important expression of people’s emancipation and the foundational dimension of the common good, how does it relate to those without or lacking voice? “On the Margins and the Political” encapsulates these questions and others by reflecting on their various articulations. We will examine their relations through various disciplines: Political sociology- anthropology-philosophy, urban anthropology, geography and cultural criticism. This course aims at building foundational knowledge and skills that students can apply in their own research topics be they in immigration, health, work, indigeneity, colonialism or general theory. The course will be an opportunity for students to engage with key authors such as Rancière, Badiou, E. Thompson, Chatterji, Bayat, Green, Scott, etc.]

SOCI 6190 3.0M (W)—Selected Topics in Classical and Contemporary Theory: Rediscovering Marx

Instructor: Marcello Musto
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Thursdays 4:00–7:00

Despite the predictions that consigned it to eternal oblivion, Karl Marx’s thought has returned to the limelight in recent years. Faced with a deep new crisis of capitalism, many are again looking to an author who in the past was often wrongly associated with the Soviet Union, and who was too hastily dismissed after 1989. After the waning of interest in the 1980s and the “conspiracy of silence” in the 1990s, new or republished editions of his work have become available almost everywhere. The literature dealing with Marx, which all but dried up twenty-five years ago, is showing signs of revival in many countries.

Marx’s writings are presently being published in German under the auspices of the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA²) project, the critical historical edition of the complete works of Marx and Engels, which resumed serial publication in 1998. The purpose of this course is to reconstruct the stages of Marx’s thought in the light of the textual acquisitions of MEGA², and hence to provide a more exhaustive account of the formation of Marx’s conceptions than has previously been offered.

The great majority of researchers have considered only certain periods, often jumping straight from the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 to the Grundrisse (1857-58). The study of priceless manuscripts, and of interesting interim results, has remained the preserve of a narrow circle of scholars capable of reading the German-language volumes of MEGA2. One of the aims of this course is to make these texts more widely known, and to debate on the genesis and unfinished character of Marx’s works.

Altogether, the Marx that emerges from this examination of his work in the areas of post-Hegelian philosophy, the materialist conception of history, scientific method, alienation and political thought at the time of the International Working Men’s Association is a thinker very different from the one presented for such a long time by his detractors as well as many ostensible followers.

If we bear in mind not only the well-known works, but also the manuscripts and notebooks of extracts in MEGA², the immensity and richness of Marx’s theoretical project appear in a clearer light. The notebooks of excerpts, and the recently published preparatory drafts of Capital, show the huge limitations of the “Marxist-Leninist” account—an ideology that often depicted Marx’s conception as something separate from the studies he conducted, as if it had been magically present in his head from birth—but also of the debate in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, the participants in that debate could not consider the totality of Marx’s texts, and even some of these they treated as thoroughly finished works when that was far from being the case.

At a time when Marx’s ideas have finally been liberated from the chains of Soviet ideology, and when they are again being investigated for the sake of analysing the contemporary world, a more faithful account of the genesis of his thought may not be without important implications for the future—not only for Marx studies, but also for the re-founding of a critical thought that aims to transform the present.

SOCI 6200 3.0A (F)—Contemporary Topics in Social Theory: Theorizing the Digital

Instructor: Fuyuki Kurasawa
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Thursdays 2:30–5:30

The course employs a sociological approach to theorize digital culture, its structural logics, and various phenomena resulting therefrom, including the socio-cultural effects of digitally-oriented technologies upon institutional dynamics and interactional patterns in contemporary societies. The course will analyze some of the key scientific and technological developments that undergird the digital age, such as ‘Big Data’, algorithms, and artificial intelligence, as well as the applications to which they are being put and the social assumptions that are built into them. The course considers how these technologies and developments take shape via social media and other digital platforms, and the socio-cultural impacts of these platforms. We study how these platforms participate in the formation and reproduction of socio-economic, political, and cultural inequalities—via algorithmic discrimination, biased artificial intelligence design, and a mode of surveillance capitalism—, but also contribute to novel cultural discourses and political and symbolic practices.

SOCI 6200 3.0M (W)—Contemporary Topics in Social Theory: Postcolonial and Third World Feminisms

Instructor: Sylvia Bawa
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Tuesdays 8:30–11:30

Theories are not constructed in a vacuum. Theories speak to histories and emerge from particular if not peculiar realities (lived or observed). Postcolonial feminisms are, arguably, by and large both counter narrative and pioneering in knowledge production of the third world from the perspective of women and thus unintentionally become one of many voices for women in postcolonial societies. This course will provide a platform for exploring postcolonial and third world feminisms in their varied iterations. Mindful of the tenuous reception of feminism in the thirdworld, the course aims to examine its contributions to understanding paradoxes in the postcolonial world and how these inform social justice activism for women’s rights and empowerment. Postcolonial feminists, and theory, engage with issues of inequality at multiple levels; through historical analyses of colonialism and the international political economy and a critical engagement with local/national patriarchal oppressions. Thus, participants in the course will examine the ways in which postcolonial feminisms engage orthodox discourses on globalization, development and gender. Some themes to be explored are: tensions in the constructions of gender and identity in the postcolonial nation state; religious and cultural ideologies on gender inequality, global rights and women’s individual rights discourses and culture in ‘developing countries’.

SOCI 6312 3.0A (F)—Critical Political Ecologies

Instructor: Harris Ali
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Thursdays 11:30–2:30

Political ecology is a broad perspective that considers how nature may be profoundly shaped by human politics, particularly imbalances in power and social inequalities. The overall objective of this course is to understand how political ecology and environmental sociology perspectives are useful for gaining insights into complex relationship between the environment, society, and infectious disease. This year, our particular focus will be on COVID-19 pandemic, although we will consider a myriad of other infectious diseases of both the Global North and Global South. We will consider how infectious disease and the current pandemic has brought to the fore various cultural, political and economic problems that had previously remained in the background—including issues of economic, gender and racial inequality, precarious employment status, transit injustice, the digital divide, the neglect of the elderly, housing and homelessness, environmental change, social control and surveillance, governance, mental health issues, public trust in science, the role of social media misinformation and disinformation and so forth.

SOCI 6535 3.0M (W)—Critical Sexuality

Instructor: TBA
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Tuesdays 11:30–2:30

SOCI 6536 3.0A (F)—Transnational Sexualities

Instructor: David Murray
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Fridays 1:30–4:30

This course examines the historical and contemporary constitution, articulation and organization of sexual identities, sexualities, and the regulation of sexual practices, in, across and against national boundaries. We will consider how political, economic, social, legal and cultural forces impact and interact in the production and regulation of sexualities, and we will also critically examine various strategies proposed as projects of sexual rights, citizenship and/or liberation. Engaging an interdisciplinary outlook, we will consider scholarly interventions from various fields, including Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural, Feminist, Black, Queer and Post-Colonial Studies. After an initial exploration into the theoretical foundations of transnational sexualities studies, we will focus on the role of the nation-state in relation to movement, desire and identity formation/recognition through a series of topics including migration and refugees, human rights discourses and LGBT/queer activism, international development, and sex tourism/sex work.

SOCI 6614 3.0M (W)—Migration and Transnationalisms

Instructor: Rina Cohen
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Mondays 2:30–5:30

This course examines migration as a social, economic, cultural, and political process which transforms individuals, families, communities, and states. The course reviews major conceptual debates and methodological tools that are being employed in the study of migration, diaspora and transnationalisms. It links transnational migration to issues such as postcolonialism, globalization, neoliberalism, nationalism and nativism, belongings, social stratification, and inequality. A special section of the course investigates the ways in which global pandemics, such as Covid-19, affect migration and exacerbate the marginalization of already oppressed groups.

Readings address issues such as social networks, forced and voluntary transnational migration, cultural reproduction and diasporic identity, immigrant women, second generation, xenophobia, labour diasporas and development, precarious work, political engagement, inclusion and exclusion, citizenship, and the impact of state policies on ethnic trans-state social action. Drawing on works of authors such as Hall, Appadurai, Sassen, Cohen, Levitt, Anthias and Yuval-Davis, Salazar-Parrenas, Kempadoo & Doezema, Vertovec, Goldring, Portes, Clifford, Li and Aleinikoff, students will critically engage with literature on immigrant transnationalism.

The outline and readings for the course will be modified according to students’ interests. Seminar requirements include class presentations, 6 short critical responses to the readings, and a research paper on specific transnational experiences or on pertinent theoretical issues.

SOCI 6745 3.0M (W)—Asian Studies: Critical Perspectives

Instructor: A. Kusno
Term: Winter
Day/Time: T 11:30–2:30

For a description of this course, please contact Professor Kusno at

SOCI 6760 3.0M (W)—Race and Ethnicity

Instructor: Christopher Kyriakides
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Thursdays 8:30–11;30

For a description of this course, please contact Professor Kyriakides at

SOCI 6805 3.0A (F)—Bodies and Biotechnologies in Anthropology

Instructor: TBD
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Wednesdays 2:30–4:30
Teaching Method: TBD

Course Director is TBD.

SOCI 6810 3.0M (W)—Topics in Biopolitics: Indigenous and Global South Interventions in Biopolitics: Critiques, Extensions, Counterpositions

Instructor: Lorna Weir
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Fridays 11:30–2:30

This course traces the critiques, extensions, and counterpositions which Indigenous and Southern scholarship has fashioned in response to the biopolitical theory of the global North, principally the work of Foucault and Agamben. After reviewing the biopolitical theory of Foucault and Agamben, we will investigate the ways in which Indigenous and Southern scholarship intervenes in and revises biopolitics, particularly in relation to the history of European colonialism and its continuing presence today: a history of little interest to Agamben and Foucault.

We then move to consider Achille Mbembe’s counterconcept to biopolitics: necropolitics, that is, the exposure, wounding and killing of primarily racialized humans in the history of Euro-American colonialism and postcolonialism. Mbembe’s formulation necropolitics, developed as a critique primarily of Foucault’s biopolitics work and secondarily Agamben’s, has inspired a generation of studies in the South and North, some of which we will read. The potential significance of the relations between necropolitics and biopolitics posited by Mbembe and the literature on necropolitics will also be addressed. The course will end by exploring whether Roberto Esposito’s concept of affirmative biopolitics might be recommended to assist the work of decolonization, including the decolonization of biopolitical theory.

Agamben, Giorgio (2015) “Form-of-Life.” In The Use of Bodies: Homo Sacer IV, a. Stanford, Cal,: Stanford U, pp. 195-261.

Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Edmonds, Penelope and Jane Carey (2017) “Australian settler colonialism over the long nineteenth century: new insights into history, gender and biopolitics.” In Cavanagh, Edward, and Lorenzo Veracini. The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism. Abingdon, Oxon ;: Routledge, pp. 371-390.

Camacho, Keith (2019) Sacred Men. Durham: Duke University Press.

Ahuja, Neel (2016) Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the Government of Species. Durham: Duke University Press.

Daschuk, James (2014) Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada: U of Regina Press.

Emerson, R. Guy (2019) Necropolitics: Living Death in Mexico. Palgrave MacMillan.

Esposito, Roberto (2012) Terms of the Political Community, Immunity, Biopolitics. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.

Esposito, Roberto (2008) Bíos: Biopolitics and Philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Estévez, Ariadna (2014) “The Politics of Death and Asylum Discourse Constituting Migration Biopolitics from the Periphery.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 39, no. 2: 75-89.

Ferrandiz, Francisco and Antonius C.G. M. Robben (2015) Necropolitics: Mass Graves and Exhumations in the Age of Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press.

Foucault, Michel (2003) "Lecture 11, 17 March 1976". In "Society Must Be Defended": Lectures at the Collège de France 1975–1976. New York: Picador: 239-263.

Foucault, Michel (1997) “The Politics of Health in the Eighteenth Century.” In Paul Rabinow (series ed.) Essential Works of Foucault 1954–1984. Vol 3: Power, James Faubion ed.: 90-105.

Foucault, Michel (1978) “Right of Death and Power over Life.” The History of Sexuality. New York: Pantheon. Vol. 1: An Introduction. 133-159.

Haritaworn, Jin, Adi Kuntsman and Silvia Posocco eds. 2014. Queer Necropolitics. Abingdon, Oxon. (UK) and New York: Routledge.

Lenṭin, Ronit. Thinking Palestine. London ;: Zed Books, 2008.

Lewis, Courtney (2018) “Frybread Wars: Biopolitics and the Consequences of Selective United States Healthcare Practices for American Indians.” Food, culture, & society 21 (4) (2018): 427–448.

Mabon, Simon (2017) “Sovereignty, Bare Life and the Arab Uprisings.” Third world quarterly 38.8 (2017): 1782–1799.

MacLellan, Matthew (2018) “Indigenous Infopolitics: Biopolitics as Resistance to White Paper Liberalism in Canada.” Theory and Event.

Mbembe, Achille (2019) Necropolitics. Trans. Steven Corcoran. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Mezzadra, Sandro, Julian Reid, and Raṇabīra Samāddāra (2013) The Biopolitics of Development: Reading Michel Foucault in the Postcolonial Present. New Delhi: Springer.

Morgensen, Scott (2011) “The Biopolitics of Settler Colonialism: Right Here, Right Now.” settler colonial studies 1.1 (2011): 52–76.

Moses, A. Dirk ed. (2008) Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History. New York: Berghahn: New York.

Palmater, Pamela (2014) “Genocide, Indian Policy, and Legislated Elimination of Indians in Canada.” Aboriginal policy studies (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) 3.3 (2014):

Polack, Fiona ed. (2018) Tracing Ochre: Changing Perspectives on the Beothuk. Toronto : University of Toronto Press.

Rajan. Kaushik Sunder (2006) Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Schotten, C. Heike (2018) Queer Terror: Life, Death, and Desire in the Settler Colony. New York, Columbia University Press.

Smiles, Deondre (2018) “‘…to the Grave’—Autopsy, Settler Structures, and Indigenous Counter-Conduct.” Geoforum 91): 141–150.

Stoler, Ann Laura (2010) Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Stoler, Ann Laura (1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham and London: Duke University Press),

Threadcraft, Shatema (2017) “North American Necropolitics and Gender: On #BlackLivesMatter and Black Femicide.” South Atlantic Quarterly 16 (7): 553-579.

Valencia, Sayak and Olga Arnaiz Zhuravleva (2019) “Necropolitics, Postmortem/Transmortem Politics, and Transfeminisms in the Sexual Economies of Death.” TSQ 6 (2): 180–193. Valencia, Sayak. 2018. Gore Capitalism. Sourth Pasadenia, Cal.: Semiotexte.

Venn, Couze (2009) “Neoliberal Political Economy, Biopolitics and Colonialism: A Transcolonial Genealogy of Inequality.” Theory, culture & society 26 (6): 206–233.

Viriasova, Inna and Antonio Calcagno (2018) Roberto Esposito: Biopolitics and Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Wildcat, Matthew (2017) “Fearing Social and Cultural Death: Genocide and Elimination in Setter Colonial Canada—An Indigenous Perspective.” In Andrew Woolford and Jeff Benvenuto eds., Canada and Colonial Genocide. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge: 1-18.

Woolf, Patrick (2006) “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” J. of Genocide Research 8 (4): 387-409.

SOCI 6831 3.0M (W)—Health and Illness

Instructor: Conor Douglas
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Wednesdays 8:30–11:30

According to Michel Foucault, modern notions of power are located at the intersection of knowledge and the ability to control and preserve life. What is more, the 20th and 21st centuries have witnessed a radical shift in knowledge related to health, illness and the organization of medicine that is increasingly used to improve and prolong life (for some). For seventy-plus years sociologists and related scholars have been examining how various social processes have configured what it means to be healthy and sick, and how western societies have mobilized -and been structured by- this new emerging form of power. This course overviews some of those key theoretical developments in the sociology of health and illness (SHI), and applies them to contemporary challenges in western biomedicine. Similar to other areas of scholarship, this course is interested in the dialectical relationship between different theories within the SHI. Particular attention will be paid to how historical approaches have been critiqued and responded to in the development of SHI. This course take seriously the role that the body, technology, markets, power and control in health and illness; while paying particular attention to the role of women and issues of (in)justice. While some of the topics and challenges have been decided at the outset of the course (e.g. social determinants of health, intersectionality and health inequalities) and others remain open so that the class can collectively choose what is most important/interesting to them.

The course is organized as a learner-led seminar. Active learning will also be facilitated experiential education activities of the learner’s area of interest. Throughout the term assignments will be introduced that build learners towards their large final paper on a topic of their choosing.

By the end of this course successful learners will not only have a survey of key areas in the SHI, but also critical skills related to academic writing, research, teamwork, communication, and leadership.

SOCI 6885 3.0M (W)—Politics of Security and Regulation

Instructor: Ozgun Topak
Term: Winter
Day/Time: Thursdays 11:30–2:30

For a description of this course, please contact Professor Topak at

SOCI 6886 3.0A (F)—Social Dimensions of Legal Discourse

Instructor: Kimberley White
Term: Fall
Day/Time: Fridays 11:30–2:30

For a description of this course, please contact Professor White at

Independent Reading Courses

Independent reading courses are normally open to graduate sociology students only.  However, with permission, students from other programs may enrol in this course.

Graduate students in sociology must have their reading course supervised by a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Sociology.

All students who wish to enrol in a sociology reading course (5900/6900) must submit to the program office, a reading course form (.pdf) by the following deadlines:

April 1 for summer term reading courses

August 1 for fall term and fall/winter term reading courses

December 1 for winter term reading courses