SO224GC      Half Unit
The Sociology of Race and Empire (Spring Semester)

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sara Salem Room STC S218


This course is available with permission to General Course ‘Spring Semester’ students.

Course content

The course provides an introduction to theoretical and contemporary debates around race, racism and empire. It explores the main theoretical perspectives which have been used to analyse the production of race, racism and colonialism in a contemporary framework, touching on the role of historical events in creating difference, including the “discovery” of the Americas, the transatlantic slave trade, the expansion of European empires, and the Renaissance and Enlightenment among others, before examining in detail the lived areas within our contemporary social and political climate where analyses of ‘race’, racism, belonging and identity are urgently needed; as well as the ways in which various categories such as class, gender, sexuality, among others, intersect with race. The course adopts a global lens, focusing on theory and cases from across the world. Topics include: race and empire in social theory; colonialism, settler colonialism and post-colonialism; capitalism and race; intersectionality; food; tourism; technology; migration; and the role of resistance and future liberation in anti-racist movements.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures/seminars, online materials and classes totalling a minimum of 20 hours in LT.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

One formative essay in LT.

Indicative reading

  • L Back & J Solomos (Eds), Theories of Race and Racism (2nd Edition, Routledge 2009);
  • K Murji & J Solomos (Eds), Theories of Race and Ethnicity: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives (CUP 2014);
  • MJ Schueller, Locating race: Global sites of post-colonial citizenship (SUNY Press 2009);
  • DF Da Silva, Toward a Global Idea of Race (U Minnesota Press 2007);
  • Y Gunaratnam, Researching ‘Race’ and Ethnicity: Methods, knowledge and power (Sage 2003);
  • R Miles, Racism after Race Relations (Routledge 1993);
  • J Puar, Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Duke UP 2017);
  • C Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Duke UP 2003);
  • H Mirza (Ed), Black British Feminism (Routledge 1997);
  • K Owusu (Ed), Black British Cultural Studies (Routledge 1999);
  • D T Goldberg, Racist Culture (Blackwell 1993);
  • P Gilroy, There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack (Hutchinson 1987);
  • E Baptist, The half has never been told: Slavery and the making of American capitalism (Hachette 2016);
  • P Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought (Routledge 1991);
  • F Fanon, Black skin, White Masks (Grove press 2008);
  • D T Goldberg (Ed), Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader (Blackwell 1994);
  • P.H. Collins & J. Solomos (eds) Sage Handbook of Race and Ethnic Studies (Sage 2010);
  • A Roy, The Doctor and the Saint: Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste, the Debate between BR Ambedkar and MK Gandhi (Haymarket 2017).


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the third Thursday of Summer Term.  

Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information