Not available in 2021/22
SO482      Half Unit
Topics in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Suki Ali STC S307


This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Political Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). Places are allocated based on a written statement, with priority given to students on the MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy and MSc in Political Sociology. This may mean that not all students who apply will be able to get a place on this course.

Course content

The course offers students a broad exposure to theorisations and debates about race, racism and ethnicity as well as an opportunity to consider a range of contemporary instances in which the social and political problems arising from these ideas have been manifested. It will offer a preliminary genealogy of ‘modern’ race thinking connecting historical and theoretical work with new scholarly debates over a number of contemporary issues. NB Topics change yearly but have engaged the politics of migration and multiculture, nationalism, the politics of terror, state violence, bio/necro/politics, genomics, health inequalities, representation.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures/online material and seminars totalling a minimum of 20 hours in LT. The course may run as an extended interactive seminar where student numbers and teaching arrangements permit.

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

Formative coursework

Students have the option of writing a 1500 word paper in preparation for the assessed essay.

Indicative reading

Appiah, Anthony (1996) Color conscious: the political morality of race, Princeton University Press; Ballhatchet, Kenneth (1980) Sex, Race and Class under the Raj, Weidenfeld and Nicolson; Butler, Judith P (2004) Precarious life: the powers of mourning and violence, Verso; Cabral, Amilcar (2000) Return To The Source, Monthly Review; Chiang, H. ed. (2018) Histories of Sex in China, Washington University Press; Eze, Emanuel Chukwudi (2001) Achieving our humanity: the idea of the postracial future, Routledge; Fanon, Frantz (1967) Toward The African Revolution, Grove; Fredrickson, George M (2002) Racism: a short history, Princeton University Press; Jones, Greta (1980) Social Darwinism and English Thought, Harvester; Hannaford, Ivan (1996) Race: the history of an idea in the West,  Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Haraway, Donna (1997) Modest¿Witness@Second¿Millennium, FemaleMan¿Meets¿OncoMouse: feminism and technoscience Routledge; Kuhl, Stefan (1994) The Nazi connection: eugenics, American racism and German national socialism, Oxford University Press; Mamdani, Mahmood (2004) Good Muslim, bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the roots of terror, Pantheon Books; Mbembe, A (2019) Necropolitics, Duke University Press; Morana, M et al (2008) Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate, Duke University Press; Nelson, A (2016) The Social life of DNA. Omeje, K (ed) (2015) The Crisis of Postcoloniality in Africa,CODESIRA  Schiebinger, Londa (1994) Nature's body: sexual politics and the making of modern science, London, Pandora; Tapper, Melbourne (1999) In the blood: sickle cell anaemia and the politics of race. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the ST.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the submission day.

Attendance at all seminars 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

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information