HUMN 2056 The Racial State

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101990

Coordinator Alana Lentin Opens in new window

Description Racism is often thought of as both primordial and pathological. Racist states, such as Apartheid South Africa or Nazi Germany, are usually considered to be exceptions rather than the rule and mainly a thing of the past. This unit examines the ways in which, despite the challenge to racism, race remains a fundamental organising idea in modern western states, one that has a direct affect on our everyday realities. We will examine how race is reproduced through politics, culture, socialisation and economic structures. We will consider the effects this has on individual and societal lived experience in complex post-immigration, postcolonial societies.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Studies In Human Society

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 2063 - New Ethnicities Old Racisms

Restrictions Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Critically analyse the relationship between concepts of race and racism, state power and individual experience.
  2. Apply key theoretical analyses to their understanding of race as 'lived experience'.
  3. Critically evaluate the relationship between institutional apparatuses and public cultures within which racist ideas are expressed.
  4. Present ideas in a clear and well-constructed manner through seminar discussions and debates.
  5. Work interactively using online methods of communication to plan projects and get feedback from student peers
  6. Work collaboratively in the design and conduct of a small-scale research project.

Subject Content

- introduction: busting The myths of race?
- what is race, what is racism?
- Whose Country? race and The colonial experience
- mobility and change
- institutional and systemic racism
- race, gender and sexuality
- 'Policing the Crisis
- Abolitionist visions
- Islamophobia
- race, digital Technology and social media


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Journal Postings 2,000 words 60 N Individual
Poster plus Written Summary 500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • A Subject Reader prepared by the subject coordinator. Further reading resources will be made available on vUWS

Teaching Periods