Geographies of Race

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Austin Zeiderman


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.



Course content

This course will critically analyze the intimate relationship between race and space in the modern world. Through a range of historical and contemporary examples, it will examine how interconnected forms of racial and spatial difference are produced, reproduced, and transformed. Focusing on the material and cultural formation of racialized geographies, students will learn to recognize how racially inflected discourses and practices shape the production of space and how geographical location matters to racial classification, identification, and discrimination. The course will be organized around a series of archetypal spaces: for example, the body, the nation, the colony, the city, the home, the prison, the plantation, the border, the school, and the street. In each case, students will examine the confluence of race and space within broader themes, such as colonialism, capitalism, urbanization, globalization, environmentalism, migration, and incarceration. Since race often intersects with other forms of difference, students will also learn to interrogate the influence of gender, class, religion, and sexuality on the production of space. Texts from human geography, critical race theory, colonial and postcolonial studies, history, sociology, and anthropology in addition to other media, such as film, literature, journalism, and photography, will provide students with conceptual resources and methodological tools. Ultimately, the objective is to advance a comparative, critical analysis of the relationship between race and space, past and present, and to explore the conditions of future possibility for the linked political projects of anti-racism and spatial justice.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT and LT.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course, but will include works such as: Stuart Hall, “Race, Articulation and Societies Structured in Dominance” (1980); Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “Racial Formation” (1986); Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color” (1991); Claire Alexander and Caroline Knowles, Making Race Matter: Bodies, Space and Identity (2005); Claire Dwyer and Caroline Bressey, New Geographies of Race and Racism (2008); Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951); Paul Gilroy, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (1987); Edward Said, Orientalism (1978); Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1961); David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (2007); Laura Pulido, “Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California” (2000); John Hartigan, Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit (1999); bell hooks, “Homeplace: A Site of Resistance” (1991); C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938); Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010); Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (2007); Paul Gilroy, Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993).


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 40.5
2:1 52.4
2:2 7.1
Third 0
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2016/17: 18

Average class size 2016/17: 10

Capped 2016/17: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2015/16 - 2016/17 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 55%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)