module specification

SS5085 - Resistance, Creativity and Joy in the Capital (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Resistance, Creativity and Joy in the Capital
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
85 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Other 50%   Equivalent to 10 hours activity.
Coursework 50%   Indicative word count 1,500
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will provide an exciting and unique opportunity for students to delve into contemporary cultural production, creativity, resistance, and joy in first, second and third generation African and Caribbean lives in and around London. From documenting the evolution of sound system culture, to exploring visual and written creative expressions, students will unpack the socio-political contexts that shaped the lives and sub-cultures studied.

Students will embrace the joys of Blackness that are often undocumented and under narrated which include topics such as:  music, resistance, (anti)policing, mental health, gentrification, migration, LGBTQIA+ lives, intimacy, BMX culture and theatre. Students will immerse themselves in the rich diversity and cultural heritage of London’s African and Caribbean communities through instructor led educational visits, during which there will be a unique opportunity to learn from and network with cultural creators, journalists, activists, authors, producers and more, drawing on guest speakers from backgrounds with GQ, Vice, NY Times, Penguin Books UK, Houses of Parliament and others.

The overall aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the complexities and joys in the lives of those in and around the capital from the African and Caribbean diaspora. Students will be encouraged to begin constructing their decolonial and critical thinking skills within a non-tradition learning environment – combining historical analysis and teaching from those within the grassroots, both inside and outside of academia.


This module was designed and created by the award-winning educationalist Sofia Akel, whose work has featured in The Guardian, GRM Daily, Al-Jazeera, NBC, Huffington Post, Channel 4 News and more. Building on her expertise to create a unique, non-traditional community-oriented module.


This module was inspired by world-renowned journalist and USC academic Afua Hirsch. With thanks to Lionel Bunting and Zainab Khan for their support.

Prior learning requirements



Please note that this module is being delivered innovatively over the semester period of 10-15 weeks

  • Key historical events that changed the political and social landscape of London.
  • African and Caribbean migration to the capital, unpacking racial and social battles, such as Windrush, gentrification, housing, education and policing.
  • Black activism in the 20th and 21st century
  • Creative cultures and modes of expression that were borne out of and created in response to life in the capital
  • The genesis of London sounds: Black masculinity, joy and mental health

LO1 - LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity within the module is indicated in the section below.


  • Scheduled learning and teaching comprise face-to-face contact hours and planned educational visits 
  • Students are encouraged to engage in self-directed learning experiences outside the taught sessions.


A virtual learning environment supports the module containing relevant learning and teaching materials such as lecture slides, discussion questions, case studies, assessment and grading criteria, deadlines and feedback details.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:


LO1: Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the ways in which African and Caribbean Londoners navigated the racial and socio-political context of contemporary London.


LO2: To effectively communicate the ways in which African and Caribbean Londoners resisted racist oppression through activism, whilst demonstrating an awareness of the innovative, cultural creations borne out of these communities.


L03: To analyse, multi-dimensional, complex narratives of inner-city London living, thinking beyond reductive racialised narratives.


LO4: To apply critical thinking skills within the framework of decolonisation, looking beyond a colonial lens in participating in and discovering non-traditional modes of learning and assessment. This includes enhancing their creative skills utilising modern mediums such as spoken word, short videos, and more in collaborative and independent study.

Assessment strategy

Students will be given a selection of creative briefs centred on archiving the present-day experiences of African and Caribbean people in London through mediums such as TikTok, Instagram or blogs, where they will investigate and unpack hidden narratives. Each student will choose only one creative brief. This should be completed with accompanying documentation such as agreed evidence that reflects the learning outcomes.


Students will write an essay reflecting on their learnings of key topics through a lyrical analysis of a topic London artist. Students will be given a selection of songs to choose from and related essay questions to guide them.




Arday, J. and Safia Mirza, H. (2018). Dismantling Race in Higher Education Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy. Cham Springer International Publishing.

Boakye, J. (2019). Black, listed: black British culture explored. London: Dialogue Books.

Boakye, J. and Ngadi Smart (2021). Musical truth: a musical history of modern Black Britain in 25 songs. London: Faber & Faber.

Bola, J.J. (2019). Mask off: masculinity redefined. London Pluto Press.

Brinkhurst-Cuff, C. and Timi Sotire (2021). Black joy. London: Penguin Books.

Bryan, B., Dadzie, S. and Scafe, S. (2018). The heart of the race: black women’s lives in Britain. London: Verso.

Ciaran Thapar (2021). Cut Short: youth violence, loss, and hope in the city. Dublin: Viking.

Cohen, S. (1972). Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Elliott-Cooper, A. (2021). Black Resistance to British Policing. S.L.: Manchester University Press.

Femi, C. (2020). Poor. London: Penguin Books.

Gilroy, B. (2021). Black Teacher. S.L.: Faber and Faber.

Goodfellow, M. (2020). HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: how immigrants became scapegoats. S.L.: Verso.

Hall, S., Gilroy, P. and Ruth Wilson Gilmore (2021). Selected writings on race and difference. Durham: Duke University Press.

Olufemi, L. (2020). Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Outspoken). London, Uk: Pluto Press.

Sealy, M. (2019). Decolonising the camera: photography in racial time. London: Lawrence and Wishart Limited.

Two Fingas (2021). Junglist. S.L.: Repeater.

White, J. (2020). Terraformed: young black lives in the inner city. London: Repeater Books.

Audio and Visual:

Babylon. (1980). [Film] National Film Trustee Company Ltd.

Dave (2019). Psychodrama. [Streamed] Neighbourhood. Available at:

Dave (2021). We’re All Alone in This Together. [Streamed] Neighbourhood. Available at:

GRM Daily (2020). Kano Performs “Teardrops” | Rated Awards 2020. YouTube. Available at:

I May Destroy You, (2020). BBC.

Small Axe. (2020). BBC.