Class, Community, Nation (009GS)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

What lay behind the rise in right-wing nationalist movements and regimes across the world in the late 2010s including in India, the UK, the US, the Philippines, continental Europe and Brazil? Why did the UK vote to leave the EU in 2016 and then to ‘get Brexit done’ in 2019? What caused the emergence of the ‘Make America Great Again’ movement? What are the implications of these developments for the direction of human travel beyond the pandemic and in the face of the climate emergency? How much does it help to think conjuncturally about these questions building on the gramscian methods of Stuart Hall and Gillian Hart?

This module creates a collective, interdisciplinary learning environment which will pay attention both to critical analysis and to praxis. The analytical content will be centrally concerned with two questions raised by Doreen Massey:

  • what does this place stand for?
  • to whom does this place belong?

You will explore frameworks developed by feminist, anti-racist and anti-colonial scholars such as Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Mahmood Mamdani and Lisa Lowe. The scale of inquiry will range from the rural, through neighbourhoods and cities to whole countries.

We draw on critical ethnographies to consider how class-based inequality is and has been lived in 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.

We will think through geographies of hope, solidarity, resistance and abolition, drawing on writers in the black radical tradition, and on coalitional and inter-generational politics within and beyond higher education.


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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: