‘The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the colour line’ - W. E. B. Du Bois
To understand race in the twenty-first century, we have to understand its historical expressions and the ways in which it has been used to argue against the establishment of inequalities on this basis.
This module enables students to understand the ways in which race has been used as a mode of resistance to various inequalities generated by the modern world. It critically engages with key historical moments in the shaping of ‘modernity’ from the Haitian Revolution to struggles for decolonization to the US Civil Rights movements and beyond.
This module also addresses key moments in the re-making of the colonial global order on the basis of universal values such as equality and justice. Here we look at movements such as the Third World Project, the Non-Aligned Movement, and Black Power movements around the world.
The module uses historical sources as well as critical Black scholarship to examine these issues in global context and welcomes students bringing their own knowledge and expertise to bear on the discussions. It should be noted that this module is not a straightforward sociology of race and race-relations module. Rather it examines the racialized ordering of the world and of the ways of knowing that world.