Module Catalogue 2023/24

POL2114 : The Politics of Race

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Skyler Hawkins
  • Lecturer: Dr Matt Davies, Dr Mori Ram, Dr Laura Routley, Dr Burak Tansel, Dr Adetokunbo (Ade) Johnson
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



• Explore the intersections of race and politics in a broad context, offering research-led teaching on 4 or more regions of the world
• Prepare Stage 2 undergraduate students to employ race theories and discourse in their own research, including their Stage 3 project or dissertation
• Serve as an introductory course for Stage 3 advanced modules on race and ethnicity in politics, such as POL 3125 Politics of Citizenship and Race

Outline Of Syllabus

The Politics of Race generates lively and rigorous discussion about both historic and contemporary understandings of race in electoral politics, public policy and popular culture. Bookending the course with an introduction to the concepts of race, racism and intersectionality and concluding with a reconsideration of these concepts in light of the semester’s teaching and learning, POL 2114 uses the varied expertise of a team of researchers in the Politics department to explore the politics of race on a local and global scale. In this team-taught format, POL 2114 travels around the world to understand the fluidity of race as a concept and the many ways it factors in social interactions, formalised in legislation, and used in wider popular and political discourse.

Students enrolled on POL 2114 will explore topics such as (but not limited to):
• What is race and why is it political?
• An introduction to common definitions and uses of concepts such as race and intersectionality
• The methodological pluralism in the political studies of race, including how to conduct research on race from a comparative politics and international politics perspective
• Race across different geographic regions, with examples such as:
1. Racial politics and tensions, ethnicity and indigeneity, representational and identity politics, and electoral outcomes in the Americas
2. Colonial legacies and independence, migration and humanitarianism in Africa
3. Migration, citizenship and multiculturalism, impacts of tourism and international business, intersections of race and gender in Southeast Asia
4. Race and post-coloniality, indigenous rights, and the impacts of migration policy on race/racism in Oceania

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the semester, students will have a sharpened understanding of:
• The historic and contemporary definitions, use and mechanisms of race as both concept and lived experience
• The similarities and differences in the conceptualisation and codification of race between and within countries and regions
• The impact of race and racism on political processes like elections and law making
• The relationship between race as it is presented and experienced in and shaped by political and popular culture, and social and news media

Intended Skill Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will have developed their skills in:
• Recognising and evaluating the economic, social and political factors that have shaped our understanding of race
• Identifying and critically engaging with race as a form of political power, cultural identity and social marker
• Confidently applying their new understandings of race in their own future research and everyday lives

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials41:004:00Weekly on-demand lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Final assessment preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion18:008:00Formative assessment preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Weekly in-person lecture
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities113:0033:00Guided research and reading activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Weekly small group seminar
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1110:00110:00Independent engagement with course materials
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The online and in-person lectures will offer students the chance to explore race through a number of engaging avenues that maintain a mindful balance of theory with real examples from around the world. As a course that’s responsive to the realities of global politics and discourse, the combination of on-demand content with in-person large and small group teaching gives students the opportunity to explore the politics of race through a variety of lenses and in three different environments. Online materials will present a foundation to each week’s topic and the in-person lectures offer a real-time presentation that builds on the on-demand content while giving space for Q&As. Seminars, which are to be held by each week’s lecture leader, will provide students with the unique opportunity to learn from and alongside each other in small group format and with direct contribution from a regional expert. These gatherings will provide important space for further exploration of the week’s materials and allow a safe space to unpack this significant topic under the guidance of a specialist lecturer.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M201000-word Reflective piece on topic of race that engages with at least one teaching block
Essay2M702500-word Final essay on two or more of the regional studies
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Quizzes and engagement in seminars
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Because of the breadth and scope of this course, it is important that student learning is measured through their own reflections and their research skills. We will ask students to reflect on their understanding of race as it evolves during the course through a mid-term assessment that links their experiences with knowledge gained from the course up to that point, and a final research-based essay that compares and contrasts two or more regions covered during the semester. They will be provided with essential readings each week and given a long and thorough of supplemental texts, films, online publications and resources, among many other materials to help support their learning and writing.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

POL 2114 uses a team-taught format to give students access to research-informed instruction with scholars working on race theory and racial politics around the globe. This course will help prepare Stage 2 undergraduate students to employ race theories and discourse in their own research, including their Stage 3 project or dissertation, and will serve as an introductory course for Stage 3 advanced modules on race and ethnicity in politics, such as POL 3125 Politics of Citizenship and Race.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 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 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.