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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Black Activism in Britain since 1800 (PGHC11541)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers a broad introduction to the history of activism by people of African descent in Britain since 1800. We will examine the lived experiences of Black people in Britain by engaging with the struggles they took up and placing these actions in their historical, social and cultural contexts. Over the course of the semester, using a wide variety of texts and sources, we will explore the various ways in which Black people in Britain attempted to drive social and political change.
Course description People of African descent have lived and worked in the British Isles since Roman rule. This course focuses on the period from 1800 to the late twentieth century and uses activism as a lens to examine key developments in Black British History. Through weekly seminars, we will explore a range of different types of action for social and political change that Black people have taken and contextualise these within local, national and global events. Using a range of texts and sources focused primarily on English and Scottish case studies, we will discuss what constitutes activism, consider different strategies and types of action taken. In so doing we will examine personal narratives, intellectual leadership, poetry and prose, as well as campaigning, organising and other forms of direct political action. The course provides the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge of gender and race in British History as we consider the impact of Black activism on British society over time. In seminar discussions, we will also reflect on and contextualise present day anti-racist social movements including Black Lives Matter.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
One 4,000 word essay (80%)

Non-written skills:
One in-class presentation (delivered as part of a group) (10%)
Class participation (10%)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning Black Activism in Britain since 1800.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to analyse and reflect critically on relevant scholarship concerning the Black Activism in Britain since 1800.
  3. Engage critically with modern Black British History in seminar format through exchange and conversation with classmates.
  4. Devise a research question and sustain original scholarly arguments written form in the course essay.
  5. Relate historical events to contemporary social issues.
Reading List
Peter Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto Press, 1984)

David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History (Pan Macmillan, 2016)

Douglas Hamilton et al, Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic World, 1750-1820 (Manchester University Press, 2016)

Imaobong Umoren, Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018)

Bill Schwarz (ed) West Indian Intellectuals in Britain (Manchester University Press, 2018)

CarolineBressey and Hakim Adi (eds) Belonging in Europe: The African Diaspora and Work (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013)

Tanisha Ford, Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Jay Bernard, Surge (London: Chatto & Windus, 2019)

Lisa Palmer and Kehinde Andrews (eds) Blackness in Britain (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016)

Minkah Makalani, In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Jessica White, 'Black Women's Groups, Life Narratives, and the Construction of the Self in Late Twentieth-Century Britain'. The Historical Journal, 1-21. doi:10.1017/S0018246X21000492.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will enable students to:
Develop skills in critical analysis, writing with clarity and empirical research.
Analyse and reflect critically on the history of race and gender in Britain
Participate in seminar discussion and presentations using and developing critical thinking skills
Execute self-directed research
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Rochelle Rowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 4620
Course secretaryMr Rob Hutchinson
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