Life, Death and Migrations (HIST*4450) | College of Arts

Life, Death and Migrations (HIST*4450)

Code and section: HIST*4450*01

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Kris Inwood


Method of Delivery: 

The class format will be in-class lectures and discussions with occasional on-line meetings (as needed). All classes will be delivered in a synchronous format. No lectures and discussions will be recorded for later viewing, so students are expected to attend all components.

Course Synopsis:

This seminar uses quantitative sources and methods to explore historical aspects of demographic experience and social inequality. It examines the value of such data for policy purposes and understanding social and cultural contexts. Students acquire skills for employment and graduate school by improving their capacity for quantitative description and analysis. During the first half of the semester we survey the historical experience of demographic change, review simple statistical concepts, and acquire direct ‘hands-on’ experience with databases. In the second half of the semester, students develop and report on independent research projects using quantitative evidence.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, student will have acquired:

  • knowledge of demographic experience and social inequality
  • critical appreciation of the role of quantitative evidence
  • ability to communicate using both quantitative and qualitative evidence
  • capacity for independent research
  • understanding of quantitative methods


10.00 credits including HIST*2450, and at least 1.00 credits in History at the 3000 level or above.

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

Newspaper article commentaries - 05%
Database creation, report & analysis - 15%
Test Feb 9 - 10%
Presentation of research proposals (week of Feb 27) - 05%
Independent research presentation - 05%
Independent research essay - 45%
Discussion (inc feedback on student presentations) - 15%

Required Texts:

Pat Hudson and Mina Ishizu, History By Numbers: An Introduction to Quantitative Approaches (London: Bloomsbury, 2016) 

Massimo Livi-Bacci, A Concise History of World Population (Wiley-Blackwell, 5th edition 2012). NB: digital copy available through the UG Library

**Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.**