Migration Narratives and Immigrant Belonging

The Fall 2015 version of this course examined migration narratives as they relate to the themes of belonging, incorporation and social inequality. During the course, student conducted scholarly research on immigration, incorporation and belonging as well as qualitative research in the form of interviews to understand how immigrants to Scarborough make sense of their experiences of travel, incorporation, and transnationalism.  

The course was content-based in terms of our engagement with literatures on migration, incorporation and belonging.  It was place-based in that it focused on Scarborough as an important site of analysis given its position as an immigrant gateway and an “inner suburb" of Toronto.

Given this context, three questions framed students' analysis:

  1. How do im/migrants experience inhabiting Scarborough?
  2. What barriers do/did they face through their migration and incorporation into Canada/ Toronto/Scarborough?
  3. What practices for making community (however defined) do they engage in (locally, regionally, transnationally)?

The end goal of the course was to create a digital story of what it means for im/migrants to live in Scarborough. The stories students chose to tell were meant to visibilize the lives of people who are often not seen in academic research or historical accounts.  In this way, they were meant to transform how we understand traditional modes of knowledge production and dissemination.Students researched the local context and history of Scarborough, conducted reviews of pertinent literatures, interviewed immigrant participants and analyzed interview data.  

Image Credits:

Course Picture: Thank you to the student at the library who took our picture using Ivana Dimovska's phone. From left to right: Tyler Lee, Daniel Mark, Mark Roy, Anandia Yiu, Imani South, Lesley Cheung, Godfrey Mangwiza, Kiran Mistry, Ivana Dimovska, Anosha Khan, Danielle Brody, Paloma Villegas, Silvia Serpas Hidalgo and Mushtaba Jalali.  

Migration http://thebluediamondgallery.com/i/immigration.html