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Global Lives: Multicultural Geographies

Module titleGlobal Lives: Multicultural Geographies
Module codeGEO2133
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Professor Ian Cook (Convenor)

Professor Nicola Thomas (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module examines geographical forces of identity politics through the theme of global lives. In the module we explore multiculture – the messy, challenging, radical, defensive, racist, anti-racist, open, closed politics of difference in contemporary society – recognising that individuals are located within force fields of flows and connections that shape social relations, bringing the past into the present and into the future.

You will be introduced to a range of current themes and debates that are being discussed by cultural and historical geographers. This will be done through a series of standard lectures, research seminar-style lectures, workshops and in-class discussion – all supported through your reading and out-of-class efforts. Interaction, extra-curricular thinking and self-reflection are all strongly encouraged. We will have a look at how the place, landscape, popular culture and postcolonial geographies – both in the UK and further afield – have been produced, represented, experienced, performed and resisted.

This module builds on arguments about a ‘global sense of place’ introduced in the first year. You don’t need to be a specialist to take this module. This is a broad ‘introduction’, which can be used to develop your learning in a number of different directions, with the added bonus of workshop activities, and reading guidance that will be of benefit whichever module choices you make in your final year.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to introduce you to the current themes and debates that are being discussed by cultural and historical geographers. The module explores how different philosophies of knowledge impact the formation of multicultural societies and how we experience, perform and transform multicultural geographies in our everyday lives.

This module will benefit your academic and personal development, by providing you with the chance to go through the process of how research gets turned into published ‘academic papers’ and the hands-on exploration of primary research material.

The teaching contributions on this module involve elements of research undertaken by module staff, such as work on postcolonial geographies (Thomas); empire and colonialism (Thomas), multiculture (Cook), commodity cultures (Cook).). Moreover, you are encouraged to undertake enquiry-led learning, specifically through the integration of research-led workshops using original texts and archive materials.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe the literature relating to recent debates in geographies of multiculture, identity, colonialism, postcolonialism
  • 2. Critically engage with original source material that are used by geographers
  • 3. Explain some of the practices and ideas that have shaped and connected cultures, places and peoples
  • 4. Analyse the contribution of geographical practices and the place of geographical knowledge in shaping societies, spaces and places
  • 5. Illustrate the role of place and space in the formation and negotiation of identity, and the ways in which such categories as race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect to shape identity
  • 6. Develop historical and cultural geographical imagination that enables better appreciation of contemporary issues

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Evaluate the role of embedded social practices in the construction of the places and spaces that are the subject of this module
  • 8. Relate complex social theories to a deeper understanding of specific case studies
  • 9. Discuss colonial and postcolonial theory and identity politics operating across time and space
  • 10. Outline the relationship between social practice and the construction of space and place
  • 11. Relate specific local examples to wider theoretical debates and categorisations

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 12. Evaluate contrasting theories, assimilate data from a range of sources, and over a range of scales and to provide a clear synthesis of defined topics
  • 13. Evaluate research-based articles within the wider context of the module as a whole
  • 14. Provide a critical assessment of module topics showing consistency of argument with adequate illustration from a range of sources
  • 15. Communicate and present geographical ideas, theories and principles through oral and written means, individually and through group work
  • 16. Present material to support a reasoned and consistent argument, both verbally and in writing
  • 17. Develop independent/self-directed study/learning skills, including time management, working to deadlines, and searching the literature for connected material
  • 18. Access, evaluate and present data from a range of sources

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Global lives: introduction
  • Colonial Encounters: understanding the roots/routes of multiculture
  • The past in the present: postcolonial approaches
  • Representing global lives: the politics of multiculture
  • Multiculture and everyday life: art, music and food
  • Global lives, resistance and activism
  • Researching a global sense of place

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching16Lectures (8 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Workshops (3 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study20Doing the suggested out-of-class exercises
Guided Independent Study40Doing the weekly guided reading (followed up in class)
Guided Independent Study34Reading and preparation for the coursework
Guided Independent Study34Reading and preparation for the exam


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Regular group workshops/debates (formative) based on a series of key issues and guided readings.Class discussion; between 10 minutes and one hour in durationAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination502 hoursAllFeedback sheet
Essay502000 wordsAllIndividual written feedback and group feedback and discussion opportunities in class


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExaminationAllAugust Ref/Def
EssayEssayAllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination or submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin (2002) The empire writes back: theory and practice of postcolonial literatures (2nd edition). London: Routledge
  • Alison Blunt and Jane Wills (2000) Dissident Geographies: An introduction to radical Ideas and practice. London: Prentice Hall
  • Clare Dwyer and Caroline Bressey (Eds.) (2008) New Geographies of Race and Racism. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Peter Fryer (1984) Staying Power, the history of black people in Britain. London: Pluto Press
  • Mayerlene Frow et al (1996) Roots of the Future: Ethnic Diversity in the Making of Britain. London: Commission for Racial Equality
  • Miles Ogborn (2008) Global Lives: Britain and the World, 1550-1800. Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography
  • Miles Ogborn (2000) 'Historical Geographies of Globalisation, c1500-1800,' in B.J. Graham and C. Nash (eds) Modern Historical Geographies. London: Prentice Hall, London. pp. 52 – 55

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Historical geography, cultural geography, place, identity, colonialism, postcolonialism, popular culture, multiculture, performance, protest, methods, archives

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


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Last revision date