SO237      Half Unit
Racial Borderscapes

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Suzanne Hall STC.S212


This course is available on the BSc in Language, Culture and Society and BSc in Sociology. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course is capped at 30 places. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

This course is not available as a 1st year option.

Course content

This course explores the relationship between the racialised migration systems and the everyday life of borders. By working with the frame of ‘borderscapes’ this course provides opportunities to explore the spatial production of racialised borders across national, urban and intimate scales. The course critically examines border regimes by engaging in sociological and spatial perspectives. We will analyse how concepts such as ‘nationalism’, 'citizenship', 'race' and ‘illegality’ are spatialised, bringing these into dialogue with formations such as camps, domestic interiors and workplaces. Through these spaces we will also explore practices of cultural debordering and political resistance that occur through the everyday and the commonplace. Our learning process is enlivened through student presentations and writing workshops.


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

There will be a student presentation workshop in Week 5 and a writing workshop in Week 10.

Students on this course will have a Reading Week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

1,000 word formative essay to be submitted in Week 7 of Lent Term.

The formative classwork ranges from brief in-class writing exercises, to a short formative essay on which one-to-one written feedback is given, to a writing workshop where selected formative essays are shared to focus discussion on key writing techniques and approaches.

Indicative reading

Balibar, Etienne. "Europe as borderland." Environment and planning D: Society and space 27, no. 2 (2009): 190-215.

Bhattacharyya, Gargi. Rethinking racial capitalism: Questions of reproduction and survival. Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018.

Çaglar, Ayse, and Nina Glick Schiller. Migrants and city-making: Dispossession, displacement, and urban regeneration. Duke University Press, 2018.

De Genova, Nicholas P. "Migrant “illegality” and deportability in everyday life." Annual review of anthropology 31, no. 1 (2002): 419-447.

Gupta, Monisha Das. Unruly immigrants: Rights, activism, and transnational South Asian politics in the United States. Duke University Press, 2006.

Gilroy, Paul. There ain't no black in the Union Jack. Routledge, 1987.

Hall, Suzanne. The migrant’s paradox: Street livelihoods and marginal citizenship in Britain. University of Minnesota Press, 2021.

Jones, Hannah, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, and William Davies. Go home?: The politics of immigration controversies. Manchester University Press, 2017.

Khalaf, Abdulhadi, Omar AlShehabi, and Adam Hanieh. Transit states: Labour, migration and citizenship in the Gulf. Pluto Press, 2015.

Landau, Loren Brett, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, and Gayatri Singh. Xenophobia in South Africa and problems related to it. Johannesburg: Forced Migration Studies Programme, University of the Witwatersrand, 2005.

Mezzadra, Sandro, and Brett Neilson. Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor. Duke University Press, 2013.

Valluvan, Sivamohan. The clamour of nationalism: Race and nation in twenty-first-century Britain. Manchester University Press, 2019.

Yuval-Davis, Nira, Georgie Wemyss, and Kathryn Cassidy. Bordering. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.


Essay (80%, 2500 words) in the ST.
Group presentation (20%) in the LT.

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

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

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills