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

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Why did the UK vote for Brexit in 2016? What lay behind the election of Donald Trump as US president the same year? How much have these events chimed with the rise in right-wing nationalist movements and regimes elsewhere? What will be the consequences for the planet in the face of the climate emergency?

This module will create a collective learning environment where you will explore these questions. You’ll draw on resources from across human geography and other social science disciplines. In particular, you will look at the following pair of questions raised by Doreen Massey:

  • What does this place stand for?
  • To whom does this place belong?

From areas rural and neighbourhoods to cities and whole countries, you will explore the effects of neoliberal economics and class-based inequality on communities. You’ll look at the ways in which racisms have emerged and shifted historically, including through the language and practices of colonialism, as well as their effects on the present.

You’ll analyse the idea of ‘community’, to be understood as something always containing tensions and contradictions (such as unequal land ownership and gender inequality).

As well as building up skills of critical analysis, you will engage with examples of geographies of hope and resistance. Part of this final section will involve an international comparative case study of the role of protest music.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


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

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 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 2023/24. 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.


This module is offered on the following courses: