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GEO3162 : The Politics of Difference and Identity

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Raksha Pande
  • Lecturer: Dr Josep Almudever Chanza
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


Who am I? How do I know who I am? How can identity be mobilized for just and fair representation?

These are the guiding questions of this module which aims to provide a conceptually oriented and advanced discussion of the various ways in which identity and difference might be theorized and critiqued.
Empirically, the module will examine three specific axes of difference (chosen from a range of identity-categories such as religion, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability) each year to explore how they are implicated in the creation of social and spatial inequalities and wider processes of social change.
Conceptually, the lectures and workshops will focus on extant theoretical perspectives, which might include feminist, queer, post-structural, postcolonial, posthuman or historical-materialist approaches. We will pay special attention to exploring how subjectivity is co-constituted through emotion, embodiment, and performativity.

Methodologically, the module will employ multi-modal research and teaching methods, that is, we will use creative and artistic expressions such as poetry, music videos, films, TV series, photography, fiction and graphic novels as the main ways of understanding and exploring experiences of identity and difference.

The module will be delivered in-person with lectures recorded via ReCap.

Outline Of Syllabus

GEO3162 Theory, Identity and Politics is a semester-long module, allowing for intensive study of the concepts of identity and difference through weekly sessions. Building on themes introduced in GEO2110 Social Geographies, this course aims to give students an advanced understanding of these concepts by focussing on the key axes of difference such as gender, sexuality, class and religion.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00Lectures will provide an in-depth discussion of key theoretical and empirical approaches to identity and difference.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00Creative research-methods workshops.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops24:008:00Assessment workshops.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Drop-in surgery for queries related to group presentation.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1166:00166:00Students will use this time to read about the various lecture topics by referring to the reading lists provided and preparing for assessments.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module teaching will be delivered through a mixture of 2hr lectures and workshops. The lectures will provide students with ‘a roadmap’ to navigate the existing literatures on identity and differences and with an in-depth discussion of key theories of gender, sexuality, class, and religious identity.

The workshops will put the theories and concepts learnt during the lectures into action by introducing students to art-based creative methods and guiding them into producing their own creative outputs.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation1M50Group presentation of creative portfolios developed in the preceding workshops.
Essay1M50This is a 2000 words critical review essay on two pieces (1000 words each) of literature film, performance, exhibition and/or text.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment I
This is a group presentation that will showcase the three creative outputs. Examples of these include a collage, a poster, a photo essay, and/or a fashion book/zine. These portfolios will be created during the lecturer-led creative workshops.

This assessment is worth 50% of the module mark, it will be split in two – 35% for the group presentation and 15% for the production of the three elements (worth 5% each) of the creative portfolios. The latter will be assessed on a pass/fail basis where a full 5% marks each will be awarded for participation in the workshops and producing the output and 0% for non-participation/submission.

Assessment II
This is a 2000 word critical review essay on two ‘identity and difference‘ themed pieces (1000 word each) of either literature film, performance, exhibition and/or text. The review pieces will be chosen by students with guidance and/or suggestions from module lecturers.

The two assessments rationales directly map onto module learning and skills outcomes.
More specifically, Assessment I will assess the students' ability to visually present their portfolios by synthesizing them into a 15-minute talk about ‘Identity and its Discontents’. The presentation will also assess their ability to work collaboratively and to show their knowledge of creative research methods and outputs. Assessment II will assess their ability to critically apply identity theories to current contexts and evaluate the epistemology of identity in relation to how knowledge is produced and communicated using creative methods.

Reading Lists