Custom Search 1

Goldsmiths, University of London launches MA Black British History course

PROGRESSION: Goldsmiths, University of London

GOLDSMITHS, UNIVERSITY of London have announced that students will be able to study for an MA in Black British History once the programme is introduced in September 2019. This will mark the first time that black British history is available to study at a postgraduate level at a UK university.

Based in the Department of History, the MA Black British History will run alongside the existing MA History and MA Queer History.

Optional modules are expected to cover 500 years of black British history and the people and ideas that shaped it, including: the black Tudors; abolitionism; black Victorians and Victoriana; religious experiences; black involvement during the First and Second World Wars, and African and West-Indian immigration to Britain.

The MA will include a 15,000-word dissertation and two compulsory modules: Research Skills, and Explorations and Debates in Black British History - a module exploring experiences, articulations and understandings of people of African descent and origin within a British context from the early modern period through to the present.

Dr John Price, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of History, says: “Our MA Black British History programme will stimulate new knowledge and understandings about the understudied and often marginalised experiences of black Britons, while also situating those experiences into local communities and, ultimately, acknowledging the influence of the wider social, cultural and political contexts in Britain and beyond.

“Focusing on the black British experience serves as a healthy corrective to the prominence of US Civil Rights in the teaching of black history at UK schools and universities, while also fostering a more multidirectional understanding of black history that reassesses and reconfigures Britain in the histories of Africa, the Caribbean and North America.”

A recent report on race, ethnicity and equality from the Royal Historical Society (RHS) showed that the number of black and minority ethnic students and staff remains low in UK history departments.

The RHS also suggests that school and university curriculums which incorporate different and diverse histories are among measures vital for engaging a wider pool of students and future historians, and for improving public understanding of Britain’s past.

While a small number of distance learning courses or wider black humanities programmes exist in other UK universities, the MA Black British History at Goldsmiths will be the first postgraduate in-person taught course in this specific field.

Students enrolled on the MA Black British History can elect to take a module from MA History or Queer History, and students from those courses will have the option to study a Black British History module.

Students also have the option to study a relevant module from outside the Department of History, such as those delivered on Goldsmiths’ unique MA Black British Writing (Department of Theatre and Performance and Department of English and Comparative Literature) or MA Race, Media and Social Justice (Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies and Department of Sociology).

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.