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Unit information: Black Humanities I in 2021/22

Unit name Black Humanities I
Unit code MODLM0043
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Burch-Brown
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Based on cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and contemporary practice, this unit provides students with a foundation in Black Humanities. Students will explore the intellectual and cultural production of people of African descent and meet with arts practitioners and community activists. Together we will ask how the arts and humanities can generate changes in today’s society and tackle urgent questions concerning racism and anti-racism, enslavement, reparative justice, and care. The unit will draw on critical work from across the arts, history, literature, philosophy and social theory, for students to understand the history of the field and to interrogate historical and contemporary notions of blackness and social justice. The unit will introduce students to key authors and texts as well as to influential methodological approaches across the disciplines.

Unit aims:

  • Introduce theoretical frameworks that underpin notions of blackness.
  • Introduce methodological approaches across the disciplines of arts, history, literature, philosophy and social theory.
  • Provide students with insight into the most recent developments in this rapidly changing field with a approach to the ways in which historical developments, activist cultures, and artistic production, continue to shape contemporary practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Identify and analyse key themes and debates in Black Humanities, including racism and anti-racism, enslavement and reparative justice, care.

2. Discuss and evaluate the debates that surround different and varied notions of blackness.

3. Reflect on the connections between theory and practice.

4. Work with primary sources and select pertinent evidence in order to illustrate/demonstrate specific and more general points.

5. Present research and judgements in written forms and styles appropriate to the discipline and to M Level.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered online through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Information

Portfolio (100% UAM)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MODLM0043).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.