Not available in 2016/17
GY464      Half Unit
Race and Space

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Romola Sanyal


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD Human Geography and Urban Studies, MSc in African Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This postgraduate course considers the relationship between race and space linking critical race, colonial and postcolonial studies and critical human geography. The question of race cannot be meaningfully delinked from other identity politics such as gender, class, caste and religion, hence, this course studies these in tandem with each other. We consider a series of events at the interface of racial and spatial control, through themes such as  colonialism, immigration, forms of apartheid, segregation and varieties of 'ghettos' and the political economy of incarceration. The course uses social theory to develop a situated, comparative analysis of racial geographies in the contemporary world, . It will also draw on recent work in colonial, postcolonial and critical race studies. The central questions of the course are: How have racial geographies been made, reproduced, and transformed in connected ways, and what critical tools are necessary for the linked work of anti-racism and spatial justice?


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

A 2,500 word essay and 4 one page reading responses.

Indicative reading

A detailed syllabus will be provided at the beginning of the course, but would include works such as CLR James: The Black Jacobins, 1989; F Fanon: Wretched of the Earth, 1963; E Said: Orientalism, 1983; K. Jackson:  Crabgrass Frontier, 1985, A McClintock: Imperial Leather, 1995; Thomas Blom Hansen: Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay, 2001, R W Gilmore: Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California, 2005; O Yiftachel: Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine, 2006


Essay (100%, 5000 words).

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 33.9
Merit 35.7
Pass 19.6
Fail 10.7

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2015/16: 24

Average class size 2015/16: 12

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills