Module Catalogue 2020/21

GEO3125 : Critical history, participatory theory and practice in the Caribbean

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jonathan Pugh
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
GEO2103Development & Globalisation
Pre Requisite Comment

Student must have Geo2103: Development and Globalisation as a pre-requisite

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module will analyse the Societies of the Caribbean with a particular emphasis upon the everyday practices of development planning initiatives. Drawing upon detailed case studies at local, national and international levels, students will receive grounded knowledge of the everyday lives of those involved in such processes. In particular, they will examine how those living in the post-colonial countries of the Caribbean develop their voice and sense of self through being involved in participatory planning and institutional development.

Outline Of Syllabus

The twelve (2 hr) lectures supplemented by complementary seminars are as follows:-
1 Caribbean Societies: an overview of history, culture and geography
2 Caribbean Societies: development and governance
3 Postcolonial geographies
4 Postcolonial geographies: Caribbean perspectives
5 Tourism: the politics of enjoyment
6 Race and Development: violence and segregation
7 Caribbean Institutions: questions of culture, inventiveness and the sea
8 Summations and Conclusions to Part I of module
9 Development Planning: the participatory turn
10 Participatory Planning in the Caribbean: speaking without voice
11 Participatory Planning in the Caribbean: space, time and the political
12 Summations and Conclusions to Part II of module

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the course the student will have:

1.Attained both a conceptual and practical awareness of how different people develop their voice and sense of self during Caribbean planning and institutional development.

2.Examined the complex role of development consultants, activists and NGOs in Caribbean development.

3.Analysed how Caribbean cultures influence the nature of Caribbean planning and institutional development.

4.Gained detailed knowledge of the everyday lives of Caribbean people involved in a range of development initiatives at local, national and international levels.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module, the student will be able to:

1.Critically reflect upon the intricacies of the development process in the post-colonial Caribbean.

2.Critically examine how participatory approaches to development work in practice in the Caribbean.

3.Reflect upon the character, nature and relationship between development consultancies, NGOs and activists and their role in development processes.

4.Understand key forces shaping the emergence of post-colonial governments and institutions in the post-colonial Caribbean.

5.Pick apart two key conceptual terms in contemporary development studies; namely, ‘voice’ and ‘the everyday’.

Feedback on progress through the module is available via the smaller group seminars and individual tutor meetings. There will be a key feedback session after the first of the two assignments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The dominant teaching method is the comprehensive, well-illustrated and up-to-date lecture, heavily backed by detailed case studies that examine the critical histories and contemporary everyday lives of those involved in Caribbean development. This delivers a distinctly grounded perspective of development in practice.
The course is also focused around small group seminars which directly related to the lecture given that week, allowing students to receive high levels of direct support from the module leader and teaching assistant. The seminar sessions are explicitly focused upon the two essays of the module, with the module leader and teaching assistant helping students to self-reflectively tease out key arguments for these essays. These small seminar sessions will therefore allow students to develop a number of skills, including: constructing a coherent argument out of complex ideas and critical analysis. The seminars will also encourage students to debate between themselves about the role of different groups in Caribbean development (thereby further assisting the development of arguments in the student’s essays). For students considering a higher degree when they finish, this module also introduces critical reflection up the conceptual arguments associated with the meaning of critical history, participatory theory and practice as these relate to post-colonial and development studies.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501800 word essay
Essay2M501800 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Given that the module places particular emphasis upon the everyday practices of Caribbean development, the student will be encouraged to research case studies in detail. These will be fully explored in their 2 essay assignments. Drawing upon detailed case studies of how development plays out in practice at local, national and international levels, these essays will demonstrate detailed knowledge of the lives of those involved in the development of Caribbean Societies. Particular emphasis will also be placed upon constructing a coherent narrative in essays with strong, running arguments being developed throughout.

RESIT: Unseen Exam 3hrs 4 questions


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.