Class, Community and Nation Through the Pandemic Portal (009GS)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Why did the UK vote for Brexit? What lay behind the election of Donald Trump as US president? How much do these events chime with the rise in nationalist movements and regimes elsewhere (eg in India, continental Europe, the Philippines, Russia and Turkey)? This module will create a collective learning environment for the examination of such questions, drawing on resources from across human geography and other social science disciplines. In particular, we will be concerned with the following pair of questions raised by Doreen Massey: what does this place stand for? To whom does this place belong? The scale of inquiry will range from the rural, through neighbourhoods and cities to whole countries.

We will explore the effects of neoliberal economics and class-based inequality on communities, and ways in which racisms have emerged and shifted historically, including through the language and practices of colonialism, and their effects on the present. ‘Community’ itself will be unpacked to be understood as something always containing tensions and contradictions, for example around unequal land ownership and gender inequality. As well as building up skills of critical analysis, the module will engage with examples of geographies of hope and resistance, including through a one day field class in the east of England.


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.