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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2330 Geographies of Protest and Resistance

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Paul Routledge

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The contemporary world is faced by major social, economic and ecological challenges and inequalities that generate a range of grassroots political responses. This module focuses upon how different practices of protest and resistance from these grassroots movements influence and shape the geographies of our world order. It analyses the actions of social movements in Asia, Europe, and North America that challenge both the material economic and military power of states and global institutions, and the representations imposed by political elites on society to serve their geopolitical interests. It also considers how such movements pose a range of lived alternatives to hegemonic geo-political ways of being and acting in the world. The module explores these issues through a variety of case studies, including protest camps, land occupations, indigenous movements, culture jamming, LGBTQ activism and solidarity networks.


This module strives to provide students with an understanding of:

· contemporary debates concerning space, politics and power
· conceptions of resistance and protest in the contemporary world
· sites and spatial strategies of resistance
· the ways in which social movements pose material, representational and lived alternatives to dominant political systems
· debates about the roles of social movements
· the articulation of, and interrelationships between, space, place, discourse, mobility, emotion and networks
· geographies and ethics of scholar activism and solidarity

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module students who have successfully engaged with the syllabus should be able to demonstrate:
1. an understanding of the political ideas and theories associated with protest and resistance
2. an awareness of the workings and manifestations of various forms of power in society
3. a familiarity with the spatial strategies employed by social movements — including scale, tactics, strategies, discourses and domination — from a geographical perspective.
4. their ability to use academic, journalistic and electronic information sources to inform their critical analysis of processes of alter-geopolitics and express their understanding in written form.

Skills outcomes
The module is built upon the learning and teaching of core QAA geographical skills:
· abstraction and synthesis of information
· developing a reasoned argument
· assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations
· critically evaluating, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence (for example texts, imagery, archival data, maps, digitised and laboratory data)
· taking responsibility for learning and reflection upon that learning
· recognising the moral, ethical and safety issues involved in all aspects of geographical enquiry
· the concept of spatial variation
· an appreciation of temporal change
· a critical awareness of the significance of spatial and temporal scale
· distinctiveness of place
· knowledge of the main dimensions and scales of economic, social, political and environmental inequality and difference
· a critical understanding of the history of the subject
· knowledge and critical understanding of the diverse manners of representation
· principles of research design
· geographical knowledge and understanding


The module syllabus will be drawn from the following indicative themes and issues:
· Space, politics and power in contemporary society
· The role of protest and resistance in posing political challenges in society
· Theories and practices of social movements and their spatial strategies
· The politics of place in India, Nepal, and Palestine
· Spaces of creative resistance: protest camps and land occupations
· Strategies of mobility in anti-racist and indigenous struggles: Black Lives Matter and Cop Watch in the U.S.; Idle no More in Canada
· Emotional activism: the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, LGBTQ activism; and Pussy Riot actions across Europe
· Alter-geopolitical networks: People’s Global Action and La Via Campesina
· Sites of intervention
· Scholar activism and solidarity

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private Study and Independent Learning - Detail private study and independent learning outside formal classes as a guide to students about what is expected from them for the module
Students will use their private study time to reinforce their own learning by devoting:
· c. 70 hours to additional reading to enhance their understanding of themes introduced in lectures;
· c. 30 hours to reading and other preparation for seminars and the presentation;
· c. 70 hours to revision for the end of module exam

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminars will monitor students’ general progress and development of core skills and knowledge and understanding of the core material introduced in lectures; these group sessions will also provide opportunities for students to ask questions and receive formative feedback in return. Structured formative and summative feedback will be provided in week 18 in response to a presentation task.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral Presentation10 minute seminar25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)25.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)75.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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