HS1POP2-Black Britain: Race and migration in post-war Britain

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Natalie Thomlinson

Email: n.thomlinson@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.

This module will examine the experience of migrants of African, Afro-Caribbean, and Asian descent in post-war Britain, and aims to give students:
1)A thorough understanding of the history of migration, the experiences of migrants, and the reactions of the host-population, in Britain.
2)An understanding of the ways in which ‘race’ has been discursively constructed in British history.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•identify the sources of the topic in question
•trace its historical development
•be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development
•understand how ideas and events are shaped by their historical contexts
•organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays
•demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims:
•to encourage students to think independently
•to help students develop good oral and written communication skills
•to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
•to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:
Since the late 1940s, immigration from across the globe has rendered the contemporary United Kingdom a truly multi-cultural society. Indeed, in 2011, the census revealed that less than half (45%) of Londoners identified themselves as white British. Partly because of the post-war labour shortage in the UK, and partly because of the poverty and lack of opportunity in many of Britain’s colonies, migrants first from the West Indies (1950s), and increasingly from the Indian subcontinent and Africa (1960s) came in significant numbers, although from the 1960s onwards, a succession of increasingly restrictive immigration acts limited the amount of people arriving.

This module will analyse the experiences of migrants, many of whom found Britain to be far from the ‘tolerant nation’ that it so often imagined itself to be. It will examine the political responses of both the white population to migration, and how black communities organised against racism in various civil rights and black power groups. It will ask how black British and ethnic minority identities have developed and explore the politics of blackness in Britain, where, uniquely, many in the Asian community identify as black. Furthermore, it will challenge students to ask how race and ethnicity are discursive constructions rather than being biological ‘facts’, how it is that migrants so often came to be posed as a ‘problem’, and examine the knowledge systems through which these understandings are produced.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Written exam:
one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer

Written assignment, including essay:
50%: 1 essay of c. 2000 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin by latest 12 noon on the Monday of 11th week of each term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1 hour

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

    Things to do now