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Race, Ethnicity, and Migration in Modern Britain (HI2D4)

British Union Jack flag covered with anti-racist badges, most associated with Rock Against Racism

Tutor: Dr Simon Peplow

Office: H0.11, ground floor of the Humanities Building


Term-Time Office Hours: Thursday 10-11am and
Friday 11am-12pm
Please email me for availability outside of those hours!

Lecture Times: Friday 10-11am (S0.09)

Seminar Times: Friday 1-2pm (H3.03) or Friday 2-3pm (H3.56)



The wonderful Modern Records Centre have put together a really useful resource showcasing some of their collections which includes a range of sources on race, ethnicity and migration in Britain from the late 19th century onwards -

Some are available online, but there are also a wealth of sources available if you visit the MRC in person -
it's an amazing resource to have on our doorstep (particularly when it comes to researching essays, dissertations, etc.),
I'd encourage everyone to please make the most of it!!

Module Description

While there is currently great uncertainty surrounding issues of race and migration in the post-Brexit era, it is impossible to deny the long history of migration into Britain. For example, Zig Layton-Henry summarised that ‘Throughout its history Britain, especially England, has been a destination for immigrants and refugees’ (The Politics of Immigration, 1992). Following an introductory overview of earlier migration movements to consider wider contexts, this 30 CATS undergraduate second-year option module examines the history of race, ethnicity, and migration in modern Britain. Beginning with the nineteenth-century migration of people fleeing poverty and the Great Famine in Ireland, it takes a roughly chronological approach by charting major events and debates, such as the 1919 racist riots, various legislative measures designed both to limit immigration and improve domestic ‘race relations’, anti-racism and the British Black Power movement, and ideas of ‘Britishness’ in multicultural Britain. Throughout, this module examines a wide range of key themes, particularly focusing on the experiences of migrants, how immigration has influenced Britain and what it means to be British, and why migrants from some countries appear to be more welcome than others.

This module does not assume prior knowledge of the topic, and encourages students to engage with both the existing secondary literature and the wide range of sources available to conduct their own examination into this important and relevant aspect of modern Britain – including oral history interviews, songs, pamphlets, letters, police reports, government records, and other materials held by the Modern Records Centre. This module will help students develop skills in source analysis, research, and writing and communicating ideas and arguments.



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