Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module HIST57630: Race, ethnicity and conflict in twentieth-century Sudan

Department: History

HIST57630: Race, ethnicity and conflict in twentieth-century Sudan

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to


  • None


  • HIST50130

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to study at an advanced level the nature of racial and ethnic conflicts in twentieth-century Sudan which will thus enable students to acquire specific learning outcomes of the programme as whole including:
  • a specialist knowledge of imperial history
  • bibliographic skills
  • an understanding of historical debates
  • advanced skills in writing history
  • general skills of the historian


  • This module will cover the history of group conflict in the Sudan during the twentieth century, and will draw selectively on the literature for other parts of Africa to provide a theoretical and comparative background for the study of events in the Sudan. The course will reflect current debate on these subjects, and the particular interests of the student. Topics may include: the role of the colonial state in fostering ethnic and racial divisions; the importance of group affiliation in the mobilization of political constituencies since independence; the relationships between education, religion and the construction of ideologies of group identity; the role in the civil war of an historicizing discourse of racial antagonism; and the place of ethnicity in warlordism and factionalism in the south of the country.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should acquire an understanding of the theoretical debates over group identity in African history and should become aware of the boundaries of current knowledge relating to the subject.
  • Students should acquire detailed knowledge and critical understanding of one topic chosen in conjunction with the supervisor.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to undertake a programme of intensive reading directed at a number of topics, and should be able to participate in regular discussion of issues arising from the reading with their supervisor.
  • Students should then be able to produce an extensive piece of writing on this agreed subject.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Tutorials 5 Fortnightly 1.5 hours 7.5
    Preparation & Reading 290
    Other: Unscheduled meetings as requested by the student. Variable Variable Up to a total of 2.5 hrs 2.5
    Total 300

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Essay 5000 words 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Discussion of work in progress. Written or oral comments on any other agreed written assignment, such as a book review or exploratory essay. In addition, supervisors will normally read and provide written comments on not more than one draft of work being prepared for summative assessment.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University