This module presents a history of post-war multicultural Britain through the lens of British film and television, considering how our attitudes to 'race', sexuality and British identity more generally have been defined, challenged and changed by film and television. This will foreground the programmes and films themselves (for example Quatermass and the Pit, Love Thy Neighbour, If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them and EastEnders), but will require you to go beyond the image itself and to engage with the political and social developments of the period, making use of the changing cultural context, newspapers, political developments, production files and archives.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- the relationship between majority and minority cultures in the UK
- different academic approaches to the study of post-war Britain
- the transformation of British life from 1945
Subject Specific Practical Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- work confidently with library, archival and virtual sources as appropriate
- analyze primary and secondary sources in the framework of British history and culture, including the use of film and television as a source
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- make connections between political, social, and cultural developments and the formation of identities
- show a critical understanding of the nature of minority-majority relations
- evaluate different scholarly approaches to the study of post-war Britain
- integrate textual analysis with secondary research
During the module the following questions will be addressed:
- How has the representation of British identity changed from 1945 to the present?
- How have majority and minority cultures perceived each other?
- How have ‘race’, sexuality and gender been depicted and what prejudices revealed?
- What has been the historical context and significance of the films and television programmes under discussion?
In answering these questions you will engage with a wide range of primary sources including documents, testimonies, literature, as well as television and films.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods include:
- Short introductory lectures which may include some group work/participation
- Seminars focusing on the detailed reading and analysis of primary sources – these could be texts as well as images and tv/films.
Learning activities include:
- In depth analysis of primary sources, including moving images.
- Preparatory reading and individual study
- Individual participation in seminars, group work and short presentations on seminar themes
Discussion in seminars will help you to develop your ideas on a topic, to analyse a range of source material and to articulate a critical argument.
This module includes a Learning Support Hour. This is a flexible weekly contact hour, designed to support and respond to the particular cohort taking the module from year to year. This hour will include (but not be limited to) activities such as language, theory and research skills classes; group work supervisions; assignment preparation and essay writing guidance; assignment consultations; feedback and feed-forward sessions.
|Completion of assessment task||20|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||84|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Bebber, Brett (2013). ''Till Death Us Do Part': Political Satire and Social Realism in the 1960s and 1970s. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, pp. 1—22.
Harris, C (1988). Images of Blacks in Britain: 1930-60. Race and Social Policy.
Schaffer, Gavin (2010). Till Death Us Do Part and the BBC: Racial Politics and the British Working Classes 1965-75. Journal of Contemporary History, 45(2), pp. 454-477.
Healy, Murray (1995). Were we being served? Homosexual Representation in popular British comedy. Screen, 36(3), pp. 243-256.
Scannell, Paddy (1979). The Social Eye of Television 1946-55. Media, Culture and Society, 1, pp. 97- 106.
Husband, Charles (1988). 'Racist Humour and Racist Ideology in British Television, or I Laughed Till You Cried. Humour in Society: Resistance and Control, pp. 149-178.
Daniels, Therese and Jane Gerson, eds (1989). The Colour Black. London: British Film Institute.
hooks, bell (1992). Black Looks: Race and Representation. Turnaround.
Brown, Colin (1984). Black and White Britain: The Third Policy Studies Institute Survey. Heineman.
Dyer, Richard (1993). The Matter of Images: Essays on Representation. London: Routledge.
Twitchin, John (ed.) (1988). The Black and White Media Book. Trentham Books.
Solomos, John (2003). Race and Racism in Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lewisohn, Mark, (ed.) (2003). Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. BBC Worldwide.
Hunt, Leon (1998). British Low Culture: From Safari Suits to Sexploitation. London: Routledge.
Medhurst, Andy (2007). A National Joke: Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identities. Routledge.
Pines, Jim (1992). Black and White in Colour: Black People in British Television Since 1936. London: British Film Institute.
Winder, Robert (2004). Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain. London: Abacus.
Paul, Kathleen (1997). Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era. New York: Cornell University Press.
Bourne, Stephen (2001). Black in the British Frame: The Black Experience in British Film and Television. Continuum.
Banton, Michael (1967). Race Relations. Tavistock Publications.
Gilroy, Paul (1987). ‘There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation. London: Hutchinson.
Hampshire, James (2005). Citizenship and Belonging: Immigration and the Politics of Demographic Governance in Postwar Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Higgins, Michael, Smith, Clarissa, & Storey, John (eds.) (2010). The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture. Cambridge University Press.
Malik Maleiha (ed.) (2010). Anti-Muslim Prejudice: Past and Present. Routledge.
Newton, Darrell M (2011). Paving the Empire Road: BBC Television and Black Britons. Manchester University Press.
Malik, Sarita (2002). Representing Black Britain: Black and Asian Images on British Television. Sage.
O’Connor, John E. (ed.) (1990). Image as Artifact: the Historical Use of Film and Television. Robert E. Krieger Publishing.
Feedback is ongoing and forms part of the teaching as a whole. The weekly seminars provide students with the opportunity to discuss the primary issues at hand and relate these to the historical context and the historiography. They will also receive feedback on their participation from their lecturer and peers. They will also receive regular feedback on their interpersonal skills, including class presentations. These will enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of particular subject areas and to enhance their oral communication skills. The essay and exam will test knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, capacity to deploy interdisciplinary approaches and to develop a coherent written argument. In addition, the source-based focus of the essay and the exam will prepare students for the demands of the Special Subject and Dissertation in the third year.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External