#ShakeRace: Shakespeare and Racial Politics - ENGL6003

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Sarah Dustagheer checkmark-circle


This module explores the ways in which Shakespeare's plays and Shakespeare as a cultural icon function within historic and contemporary racial politics. It examines intercultural appropriations of Shakespeare on stage and film, and their racial and cultural meanings. In doing so, students are encouraged to address the role that Shakespeare and his plays have in historic racial politics, global, colonial and postcolonial histories, as well as contemporary discussions (often seen in Twitter hashtags such as #ShakeRace, #RaceB4Race and #BLM). It will focus on five texts and productions, such as Titus Andronicus, Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Tempest.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 32
Private Study Hours: 268
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Seminar participation – 20%
Presentation film/audio production (10-15 min) – 30%
Independent research project (4,000 words) – 50%

Reassessment methods:
100% coursework (4,500 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Analyse Shakespeare's plays in performance and their social, cultural and political meanings
2. Be conversant with current theoretical ideas about postcolonialism, race and identity
3. Show a critical awareness of how Shakespeare and his plays operate in a postcolonial and global contexts
4. Achieve a working knowledge of Shakespeare's role in racial dynamics in contemporary institutions, such as schools, the academy, media and politics

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Analyse texts and performance critically and make comparisons across a range of materials;
2. Understand and interrogate various critical approaches and the theoretical assumptions that underpin these approaches;
3. Show their abilities to articulate coherent critical arguments using a variety of methods;
4. Display good presentational skills;
5. Display an ability to carry out independent research.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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