Harney Lecture Series and Events in Ethnicity

Sponsored by the R.F. Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Harney Lecture Series in Ethnicity as well the Harney Events in Ethnicity bring prominent scholars and practitioners from around the world to enhance the research community at the University of Toronto.

All events (unless otherwise stated) will be open to the public.

Events that require pre-registration will have a link to the Munk School event registration URL.

Please contact ethnic.studies@utoronto.ca for all questions regarding the lectures.
Visit this page frequently for event updates.




2019-2020 Harney Events

Friday March 27, 2020: Roger Waldinger (To be rescheduled)

2-4pm  Boardroom, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (Observatory Site, 315 Bloor Street West, University of Toronto)

This event has been cancelled and is due to be rescheduled, in view of the current public health situation surrounding COVID-19.

“Origins and Destinations: The Making of the Second Generation”

Immigrants’ greatest legacy involves their children. Born or raised in the United States, this second generation now stands over 20 million strong. In this book, immigration scholars Renee Luthra, Thomas Soehl, and Roger Waldinger provide a new way of understanding the second generation, bringing origins and destinations into view.

Using surveys of second generation immigrant adults in New York and Los Angeles, this book explains why second generation experiences differ across national origin groups and why immigrant offspring with same national background follow different trajectories. Inter-group disparities stem from contexts of both emigration and immigration.

Diversity also appears among immigrant offspring whose parents stem from the same place. Immigrant children grow up with homeland connections, which can both hurt and help. Though all immigrants enter the U.S. as non-citizens, some instantly enjoy legal presence, others spend years in the shadows; those at-entry differences yield long-term effects. Disentangling the sources of diversity among today’s population of immigrant offspring Origins and Destinations provides a new framework for understanding the second generation that is transforming America.

Roger Waldinger is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration. He has worked on international migration throughout his career, writing on a broad set of topics, including transnationalism and homeland ties, labor markets, assimilation, the second generation, high-skilled immigration, immigration policy, and public opinion. Waldinger has published nine books, most recently The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and their Homelands (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015); A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections (co-edited with Nancy Green; University of Illinois Press, 2016); and Origins and Destinations: The Making of the Second Generation, co-authored with Renee Luthra and Thomas Soehl (Russell Sage Foundation Press: 2018). His current research concerns the acquisition of citizenship and the development of national identity among immigrants and their descendants.

Event hosted by Prof. Tahseen Shams, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto.


Tuesday February 25, 2020 Christopher Freiman

2-4PM (Room 108N, Munk School, Trinitiy Site)

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“The Case for Open Borders”

Abstract: Countries have a moral obligation to liberalize their immigration policies. Immigration restrictions violate people’s freedom of movement and deprive them of opportunities to become dramatically richer. Moreover, none of the standard objections to open borders–the potential economic costs, special obligations to fellow citizens, states’ rights of self-determination, and so on–are successful. The talk concludes with a discussion of the relevance of immigration policy to issues like climate change and poverty relief.

Christopher Freiman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. His first book, Unequivocal Justice, was published in 2017 and his second book, Why It’s OK to Ignore Politics, is forthcoming with Routledge Press. Chris is the author of over two dozen articles and chapters on topics including democratic theory, distributive justice, and immigration.
His work has appeared in venues such as the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Utilitas, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. His writing has also been featured in a variety of popular outlets, including Reason Magazine, Aeon, and Inside Higher Education. Chris received a William & Mary Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. His website is www.cfreiman.com and he blogs at www.BleedingHeartLibertarians.com.

Commentary to be offered by Joe Carens (Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto), whose book The Ethics of Immigration (Oxford UP, 2013) was recipient of the David Easton Award of the American Political Science Association. Randall Hansen (Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto) will chair the event.

This event is co-sponsored by The Institute for Liberal Studies, a non-partisan public affairs venue based in Ottawa.



Thursday January 30, 2020  David FitzGerald

2-4PM (Campbell Conference Facility, Munk SChool Trinity Site)

Register for this event (which also serves as Keynote Lecture for the 13th Annual EPS Graduate Research Conference)

Event Flyer

“Refuge beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers”

Media pundits, politicians, and the public are often skeptical or ambivalent about granting asylum. They fear that asylum-seekers will impose economic and cultural costs and pose security threats to nationals. Consequently, governments of rich, democratic countries attempt to limit who can approach their borders, which often leads to refugees breaking immigration laws.

In Refuge beyond Reach, David Scott FitzGerald traces how rich democracies have deliberately and systematically shut down most legal paths to safety. Drawing on official government documents, information obtained via WikiLeaks, and interviews with asylum seekers, he finds that for ninety-nine percent of refugees, the only way to find safety in one of the prosperous democracies of the Global North is to reach its territory and then ask for asylum. FitzGerald shows how the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia comply with the letter of law while violating the spirit of those laws through a range of deterrence methods — first designed to keep out Jews fleeing the Nazis — that have now evolved into a pervasive global system of “remote control.”
While some of the most draconian remote control practices continue in secret, FitzGerald identifies some pressure points and finds that a diffuse humanitarian obligation to help those in need is more difficult for governments to evade than the law alone.

Refuge beyond Reach addresses one of the world’s most pressing challenges — how to manage flows of refugees and other types of migrants — and helps to identify the conditions under which individuals can access the protection of their universal rights.

David FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His research analyzes policies regulating migration and asylum in countries of origin, transit, and destination. FitzGerald’s books include Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas, which won the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, and A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages its Migration.


Tuesday December 10, 2019 9-11am (Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre (Auditorium), 20 Grosvenor Street, Toronto)

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Please join us for the public launch of a ground-breaking new study on race relations in Canada, conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. This survey – the first of its kind in Canada – is national in scope and includes significant representation of each of the country’s largest racial groups (Chinese, Black, South Asian, and Indigenous Peoples) to reflect the perspectives of racialized and non-racialized Canadians.

The event will feature a presentation of the survey results, followed by a distinguished panel who will comment on the significance and implications of the research.

Akaash Maharaj, Chief Executive Officer, The Mosaic Institute
Jeffrey Reitz, Director, Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies, University of Toronto
Marva Wisdom, Principal, Wisdom Consulting

For more information, contact Dorinne Ah-Kam by email at info@environicsinstitute.org or by telephone at 514.603.6192.


Friday November 22, 2019: Fuminori Minamikawa


Register for this event (Co-sponsored with the Centre for the Study of Global Japan)

“The Unmaking of the Multiculturalism Policies in a Country of Non-Immigration: How Japan Failed to Learn from North American Experiences”

According to a comparative research of multiculturalism policies among democratic countries, Japan is known to be one of the least multiculturalist countries. Its national government does not affirm its ethnic diversity, has very few supports for immigrant groups, and still keeps its self-image of a “country of non-immigration.” However, Japan has also a (not so) long history of widening minority’s rights and creating its own version of multiculturalism. During the 1990s and the early 2000s, social scientists and bureaucrats researched the cases of countries in Europe and North America and coined a new term of “multicultural co-existence (tabunka kyosei)” as a response to increasing number of foreign residents. This presentation introduces the special characteristics of multiculturalism policies in Japan from comparative research findings. Then it examines how Japan learned from the experience of multiculturalism in the United States and Canada and how it failed to adopt the vision of “multicultural co-existence” as a platform of integration policy.

Fuminori Minamikawa is a Professor at the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan and a Visiting Professor at the R. F. Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. He received PhD in Sociology from the Graduate School of Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University, Japan. His field of research is a sociology of ethnicity, race, and multiculturalism in historical and comparative perspectives. He is now engaging in a research projects on the historical making of American multiculturalism and a comparative study of multicultural policies in the United States, Canada and Japan. He published academic books and journal articles both in Japanese and English, including E Pluribus Unum: A Historical Sociology of Multicultural America (Kyoto: Horitsubunka-sha, 2016, in Japanese) and Trans-pacific Japanese American Studies: Conversations on Race and Racializations (Edited by Yasuko Takezawa and Gary Y. Okihiro, Honolulu: University of Hawai’I Press, 2016).


FRIDAY OCTOBER 18, 2019  zoua Vang


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“Discrimination and Aging among Visible Minority and Indigenous Older Adults in Canad”

Despite the demographic significance of the visible minority and Indigenous older adult populations in Canada, there is little information about their aging process. In particular, the role of discrimination in the aging trajectories of these populations remain understudied and undertheorized in the Canadian context. We aim to fill this gap by first providing a synthesis of the stress and aging, life course perspective, and settler colonialism theories to shed light on the shared and unique factors that contribute to the aging process for these non-white populations. Second, using the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), we examine the association between everyday discrimination and two markers of aging, pain and functional limitations. We discuss the implications of the theoretical frameworks and empirical findings for social service and healthcare delivery for visible minority and Indigenous older adults.

Zoua Vang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and an Associate Member of the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry (Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry) at McGill University. She is also the founding Director of the Indigenous Maternal Infant Health & Well-being (IMIHW) Lab at McGill. Zoua received her BA in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA and PhD in Sociology from Harvard University. She spent two years as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology and the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained additional training in racial/ethnic health disparities and perinatal health. Zoua’s current research encompasses (i) migration and health, (ii) Indigenous maternal-infant health, and (iii) discrimination as a social determinant of health and well-being.



2018-2019 Harney Events


Friday February 1, 2019 Morton Weinfeld

2:30-4:30pm (LIBRARY Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy OBSERVATORY Site 315 bLOOR sTREET w.)

Register for this event (Re-scheduled from November 1, 2018 and now the closing lecture for the 12th Annual Ethnic and Pluralism Studies Graduate Research Conference. Please register separately for this lecture and the conference if you wish to attend both)

“Diasporas, Dual Loyalties, and Suspect Minorities: the (Canadian) Jewish Case”

Countries which are diverse and formed largely through waves of immigration — like Canada — must face issues of competing identities and perhaps loyalties within their populations. At times these loyalties reflect competing values and interests, as well as the effects of victimization. When minority rights and interests are defended vigorously these minorities can be perceived as suspect. The Jewish group in its long diasporic history, often as an iconic “other,” has encountered these dilemmas and accusations regularly. This is true even for the Canadian Jewish community, which is at the same time highly integrated even while many members perceive themselves in an ongoing marginal position. Transnational ties of diasporic groups may continue to pose challenges even for ostensibly liberal-democratic societies such as Canada.

Morton Weinfeld is a Professor of Sociology at McGill University, where he holds the Chair in Canadian Ethnic Studies and directs the Minor Program in Canadian Ethnic and Racial Studies. In 2018-2019 he is a Visiting Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, as well as at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education


thursday January 31, 2019 Rima Wilkes

2-4PM (library, Munk School of Global Affairs and public PolicY, Observatory Site, 315 Bloor Street W.)

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“Acknowledgment of Indigenous Lands, Treaties and Peoples: Too much? Or not enough”

Acknowledgement of Indigenous territory, treaties and peoples is now a widespread practice at institutions across Canada. For some individuals this practice is straightforward. For others the practice is baffling. In this lecture/workshop, we will begin with an overview of acknowledgments, including at 98 Canadian universities. We will then discuss some problems with land acknowledgments and turn to the question of how to move forward. The aim is not to provide a final definitive word on the subject. Rather the hope is that this discussion will contribute to a conversation about practice, challenges and possibilities.

Rima Wilkes is Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia and the Past President of the Canadian Sociological Association (2017-2018). She was the Executive Editor of the Canadian Review of Sociology (2013-2016). Her most recent publications include: 2018 Wilkes, Rima and Cary Wu. “Ethnicity, Democracy, Trust: A Majority-Minority Approach.” Social Forces 97(1):465-494. Wilkes, Rima, Aaron Duong, Linc Kesler and Howard Ramos. 2017. “Canadian University Acknowledgment of Indigenous Lands, Treaties and Peoples.” Canadian Review of Sociology 54(1): 89-120., Wu, Cary and Rima Wilkes. 2017. “Local-National Political Trust Patterns: Why China is an Exception.” International Political Science Review 54(1): 89-120.; Wu, Cary and Rima Wilkes. 2017. “International Student Migration and the Search for Home” Geoforum 80: 123-132.; Panesar, Nilum, Pottie-Sherman, Yolande and Rima Wilkes. 2017. “The Komagata Through a Media Lens: Racial, Economic, and Political Threat in Newspaper Coverage of the 1914 Komagata Maru Affair” Canadian Ethnic Studies 49: 85-101.

The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion, during which Prof. Cheryl Suzack (University of Toronto, Department of English and Centre for Indigenous Studies) and Prof. Douglas Sanderson (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and Faculty Advisor, Aboriginal Law Students Association) will offer commentary on the presentation based on their experience in indigenous studies and the specific issue of land acknowledgments. The event will be moderated by Prof. Jeffrey Reitz, Director of the Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

This event serves as the keynote lecture for the R. F. Harney 12th Annual Ethnic and Pluralism Studies Graduate Research Conference. Please register separately for the keynote lecture and the conference.


thursday November 29, 2018 Tahseen SHams

12-2pm (Room 208N, Munk school of global affairs and public policy, trinity site, 1 devonshire place)

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“Echoes of Conflict and Solidarity in Cyberspace: How Social Media Shapes Immigrant Identity-Making”

Although migration scholarship has long theorized how immigrants form new identities and build communities in the hostland, its foundational frameworks have thus far focused largely on the contexts of the sending and receiving countries. Yet, when immigrants arrive from one society to settle in another, their interactions with various immigrant and native groups produce contact across diverse cultures—not just of the society from which they come and to which they now live, but also of societies in faraway foreign lands to which they have never traveled. These ties to places that are neither the immigrants’ homeland nor hostland are facilitated by social media and
24/7 cable news, invoking collective identities that cut across borders and causing spillover effects of global events that shape both how others view immigrants and how immigrants view themselves. Using ethnographic data and Facebook activities of South Asian Muslim Americans in California during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, I trace how: 1) social media moderates the impact of global political events and facilitate feelings of solidarity by filtering who, where, and what matters to the host society and thereby the immigrants in it; and 2) how the immigrants themselves use social media to express and perform feelings of solidarity with peoples in distant foreign lands as they enmesh themselves into the politics of the hostland. Overall, these findings highlight the need to analyze immigrant identity-making within a broader framework that can encompass geopolitics not just in the immigrant sending and receiving countries, but also beyond.

Tahseen Shams is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto. Her research interests are in the areas of international migration, globalization, race/ethnicity, nationalism, and religion.Broadly, she studies how transnational, global forms of inequality intersect with race and ethnicity to affect immigrant groups, particularly those coming from Muslim-majority countries to the United States and Canada. Her work has received funding from the National Science Foundation and has produced publications in Sociological Forum and Ethnic and Racial Studies among others. Currently, she is writing a book on how global geopolitics shapes Muslim American and immigrant identities. She is also pursuing two separate but related research projects: one on Muslim American panethnicity, and the other on how U.S. sociopolitics surrounding Islam and Muslims affects the identity-work of Muslim immigrants in Canada.

Thursday September 27, 2018 Kate H. Choi

2-4pm Room 108N Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy Trinity Site (1 Devonshire Place)

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“Solidification of Ethnic Boundaries and Retreat from Hispanic intermarriage in the United States”

Prior work on the retreat from intermarriage usually treats Hispanic as a monolithic group, ignoring racial diversity within the Hispanic population. As a result, two questions of fundamental importance to the marital assimilation of Hispanics have remained unanswered: (1) did all Hispanic subgroups, irrespective of their race, experience a retreat from intermarriage? and (2) to what extent did the racial diversification of the Hispanic population contribute to their retreat from intermarriage? To address these questions, I document how the permeability of racial, ethnic, and national boundaries changed during the 1990s. My results underscore the heterogeneity in the marital assimilation of Hispanics. Not all Hispanic subgroups experienced a retreat from intermarriage. Rates of intermarriage with non-Hispanic Whites decreased among Hispanic Whites and Hispanic SORs, but they increased among Hispanic Blacks. Changes in Hispanic men and women’s willingness to marry Hispanic partners of a different race also varied by race. The odds of intermarriage between Hispanic Whites and non-White Hispanics increased during the 1990s, while the odds of intermarriage between Hispanic Blacks and Hispanic SORs decreased during this time. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of considering race when studying the intermarriage behavior of Hispanics.

Kate H. Choi is a social demographer interested in the causes and consequences of family formation, namely how crossing social and national boundaries influence family formation and wellbeing. She contributes to this literature by pursuing two lines of scientific inquiry: (1) investigating how institutional opportunities and constraints arising due to international migration shape family formation and (2) examining how crossing ethnoracial, educational, and age boundaries in spousal selection influence the health and wellbeing of individuals and their offspring. Her work has been published in several renowned journals, including Demography, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Social Science and Medicine. She is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario.


Monday June 18, 2018 Dan Rodriguez-Garcia

12-2PM Room 023N Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy Trinity Site (1 Devonshire Place)

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“Multiracial and Multiethnic Youth Negotiating Identity in Spain: Mixedness, Choices and Constraints”

The recent growth of mixed unions between immigrants and natives in Spain has brought about a significant increase in the number of mixed-race and multiethnic individuals in the country, particularly in Catalonia, a region that has reached a level of “super-diversity” and ethnocultural “mixedness” that compares with that of traditional countries of immigration. However, little research has been conducted on the identity processes of these multiracial children and youth, specifically regarding their experiences of social inclusion/exclusion. Drawing on data from various recent and ongoing research projects conducted in Spain by the Research Group on Immigration, Mixedness, and Social Cohesion (INMIX), this lecture aims to clarify the relationship between mixed couples/descendants and social integration. After outlining the context of immigration and mixedness in Spain from a demographic point of view, this presentation will offer research results on mixed-race/multiethnic youth in Catalonia, focusing on identity, sense of belonging, and experiences of discrimination. Within this discussion, concepts and discourses of “nation” and “national identity” in the Catalan and Spanish context will also be explored. The lecture attempts to highlight the socially transformative value of mixedness, while warning about the persistence of racialized divisiveness that hinders social inclusion and cohesion.

Speaker bio: Dan Rodríguez-García is Serra Hunter Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Director of the Research Group on Immigration, Mixedness, and Social Cohesion (INMIX) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. He was the Guest Editor for The ANNALS’ 2015 Special Issue “Intermarriage and Integration Revisited: International Experiences and Cross-disciplinary Approaches” and is currently guest editing a Special Issue for the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies on multiracial and multiethnic individuals. He is the PI of the funded R&D project “Social Relations and Identity Processes of Children of Mixed Unions: Mixedness, Between Inclusion and Social Constraints (MIXED_YOUTH)


Tuesday May 22, 2018   Zan strabac

11am-1pm  Room 240 Department of Sociology, University of toronto (725 Spadina Avenue)

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“Social norms, politics and targeted opposition to Muslim newcomers in Norway. Evidence from a list experiment”

Speaker bio: Zan Strabac is a sociologist and professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway. His main research interests are: ethnic relations, majoritarian attitudes, international labour migrations and quantitative research methods. He has published articles in leading journals in sociology and migration studies, such as The Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, The Sociological Quarterly and The Social Science Research.

Event details here





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