Module Catalogue 2020/21

MCH2065 : Race, Culture and Identity

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Michael Waugh
  • Lecturer: Dr David Bates, Dr Katie Markham, Dr Tina Sikka
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims:

• To explore the concept of ‘race’, its historical development and contemporary significance, with a particular focus on the intersections of ‘race’, class, gender and sexuality in media and popular culture.

• To develop a critical understanding of racism in its myriad forms, drawing on cultural theory to analyse the social, cultural, political and economic forces involved in the reproduction of ‘race’ and racisms.

• To consider how people and groups are ‘racialised’ through discursive and social practices (including journalism and social media), and to assess the implications of these practices for racialized groups.

• To examine how ‘racial’ ideas and practices have been resisted, culturally and politically.

This module provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to discuss ‘race’ and racism in an informed, sensitive and critical fashion, making links between ‘race’ and other cultural identities based on class, gender and sexuality. Drawing on theoretical perspectives developed within media and cultural studies, heritage, sociology, history, linguistics and anthropology, students will explore current debates around ‘race’, identity and popular culture through the prism of cultural theory. They will learn about what ‘race’ is and where it comes from, and how racism can be seen as multiple, fluent and historically contingent. Students will develop the skills to think and write about contemporary ‘race’ issues with diligence and precision, and will gain a critical understanding of the role played by media and popular culture in reproducing (and resisting) racist discourse. With its focus on the theories and cultural practices of anti-racism, feminism, queer politics and class struggle, the module develops many of the themes explored in SACS’ one-year interdisciplinary module Freedom City: Social Justice through Culture and the Arts.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, particularly those from media and cultural studies and heritage studies, to explore the origins of the concept of ‘race’ and its contemporary relevance in media, heritage and popular culture. Examples from European and Northern American museums, websites, newspapers, television, films, music and social media will be used to explore different facets of racist discourse in the early twenty-first century, from the representation of asylum seekers and refugees toe struggles against black stereotyping and police brutality. Topics will include:

• Racism, culture and identity
• Colonialism
• Immigration and racism in modern Britain
• ‘Race’ and representation
• Intersectionality
• Critical Whiteness Studies
• Blackness and Popular Culture (including music, film and social media)
• Race and Queerness

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate:

• Knowledge and understanding of contemporary cultural theories relevant to the analysis of ‘race’ and racism, and their relationship with class, gender and sexuality
• The ability to apply this knowledge and understanding in an analysis of racism and/or anti-racism in media and popular culture
• Knowledge of accurate and appropriate terminology relating to racism and migration in academic work
• The ability to apply appropriate theories and methods of academic argumentation in order to critique common-sense assumptions about ‘race’ and cultural identity

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

• Reflect critically on, and engage with, relevant academic texts on theories of ‘race’, racism and cultural identity
•Identify the key attributes of racism in various forms, shaped by different contexts at different historical moments
•Apply methods in academic argumentation to analyse examples or racism and anti-racism in contemporary culture
•Demonstrate an ability to communicate orally and verbally in an effective manner about sensitive issues
•Practice and demonstrate skills in independent study and self-organisation

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.


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.