Human migration and displacement are integral to societies around the world. As planetary processes concentrate wealth, heighten inequality, and reshape political systems, people’s movements in search of profit, protection and passage continue to transform governance, economies, and societies. Nowhere are the relationships between mobility and transformation more acute than in Africa. Studying migration means interrogating these connections. As an empirical phenomenon and heuristic, people’s movements may be simultaneously destabilising and empowering: they challenge not only the organization of socio-economic and political structures, but also our presumptions about them. They ask us to read cities, states, and societies through varied lenses and at multiple scales. Drawing course material from the social scientific canon together with case material primarily from Africa and elsewhere in the ‘global south’, this course questions, and problematizes core concepts and broader debates within academic scholarship and policy processes.