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Module

MCH2065 : Race, Culture and Identity

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

Aims

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, popular culture and cultural studies.

• 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 may include:

• Race and identity
• Race and representation
• Anti-racist activism and representation
• Colonialism and decolonisation
• Immigration and anti-migrant racism
• Intersectionality
• Critical Whiteness Studies
• Colourism and anti-Black racism

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Formative essay plan and reflective learning activities in preparation for summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Summative autoethnographic essay
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials94:0036:00Non-synchronous online (18 hrs, each hr equating to 2 hrs delivery time)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Introductory lectures (15-30mins equating to 30 mins to 1hr delivery time). Non-synchronous online
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Summary session (15-30mins equating to 30 mins to 1hr delivery time). Non-synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading94:0036:00Student readings and research in preparation for lecture and seminar discussion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00PiP. Additional sessions relating to module topics and assessment guidance
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion92:0018:00Online. Peer-lead reflections on assessment and module materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Synchronous online. Webinars, Q&A sessions, assessment workshops, general reflections on material
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide the backbone of the theoretical material, consisting of the key building blocks of knowledge and understanding, while seminars and workshops provide students with the opportunities to discuss key issues, theories, concepts and methods presented each week, using their own reading and media examples to better understand how current social issues have a racialised dimension. The combination of lectures and seminars enables the learning outcomes to be met. These seminars and workshops will focus on discussion of scheduled readings and/or suggested film/video viewing (as directed in module handbook) as well as group work activities and debates set by the module leader. Students will be encouraged to personally reflect on how ‘race’ is relevant in everyday life and will be encouraged to explore this by drawing on autoethnographic approaches which embrace the students’ own experiences.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Autoehnographic essay, 3000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1M500 word essay plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment methods offer students the opportunity to explore the main themes of the module in both a reflective and applied way. The summative essay requires students to develop an autoethnographic reflection on the module’s themes, and attach this to a specific aspect of media/popular culture (e.g. music, film, TV, social media). In this way, students will develop the skills required to analyse cultural and media studies text through the lens of race and ethnicity, whilst critically reflecting on their own identities as racialised individuals in the world. Students will be given an opportunity to prepare for this summative assessment through the formative essay plan, which will be due for submission mid-semester, and through participation in the non-synchronous online discussions, and synchronous workshops and small group activities, all of which will allow them to practice, and receive feedback on, their autoethnographic and critical thinking skills.

Reading Lists

Timetable