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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: History

HIST43230: Race in Modern America

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To gain an advanced understanding of key issues in modern Native American and African American history (c. 1890 – 2000).


  • The course introduces students to some of the key issues and debates in modern Native American and African American history (c. 1890-2000). The course is taught comparatively and utilises a multi-disciplinary approach encompassing historical, literary, film and pictorial sources. The range of topics studied will include Decolonisation Theory and Critical Race Theory; cultural survival and resurgence; struggle for citizenship; experiences during national wars; uplift strategies; identity; film and popular culture representations. Students will be able to focus intensively on one of these topics in their written work, but are expected to engage with a wide range of themes and issues in classwork.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • advanced knowledge and understanding of modern Native American and African American political and socio-cultural histories
  • advanced knowledge and understanding of the historiographical approaches to modern Native American and African American history
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Subject specific skills for this module can be viewed at:
Key Skills:
  • Key skills for this module can be viewed at:

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Student learning is facilitated by a range of teaching methods.
  • Seminars and Group Discussion require students to reflect on and discuss: their prior knowledge and experience; set reading of secondary and, where appropriate, primary readings; information provided during the session. They provide a forum in which to assess and comment critically on the findings of others, defend their conclusions in a reasoned setting, and advance their knowledge and understanding of Native American and African American history.
  • Structured reading requires students to focus on set materials integral to the knowledge and understanding of the module. It specifically enables the acquisition of detailed knowledge and skills which will be discussed in other areas of the teaching and learning experience.
  • Assessment is by means of a 5000 word essay which requires the acquisition and application of advanced knowledge and understanding of an aspect of Native American and/or African American history. Essays require a sustained and coherent argument in defence of a hypothesis, and must be presented in a clearly written and structured form, and with appropriate apparatus.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 8 weekly 2 hours 16
Discussion Groups 2 two a term 2 hours 4
Preparation and Reading 280
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One or more short assignments delivered orally and discussed in a group context.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University