British Multiculturalism, Religion and the Media

David Holt, London June 8 2019 (76) Eid Trafalgar Square Mayor Sadiq Khan (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence)

The British multicultural model has resulted from mass immigration from Commonwealth countries in the Global South from the 1950s. In the 21st century it has gone through some significant changes, in particular by shifting the focus from ethnicity to religion in a profoundly transformed British religious landscape, at a time when secularism is on the rise. The questions raised by this re-turn of religion, however, must been seen in the context of the historical place and role of religion in the British public space. The course focuses on how the specific ways in which Britain deals with religion has profoundly coloured British multiculturalism, giving peculiarly British answers to questions that are raised in all multicultural societies in the West.

In the course of the semester, students are asked to regularly contribute short, publishable opinion pieces reflecting on multicultural Britain, religion and the media.

Thematic folders

Students will be asked to work on different themes related to multiculturalism and religion. The reading material for these themes will include press articles and/or videos as well as at least one scholarly paper.

The thematic folders can be downloaded from here. The material of the thematic folders will give you (to which you can add freely by searching of additional sources yourself) a starting point for writing your opinion pieces.

To help you work on the material, especially to make use of the scholarly papers in these folders, you will be asked to annotate a number of documents using the Hypothesis online annotating tool. Please follow the tutorial to make you hypothesis ready.


In the course of the semester, you will write several opinion pieces making use of some of the six thematic folders that can be downloaded from above. We shall experiment with AI-assisted writing. The assignments will not only consist of handing in some final draft but will include a detailed report on the process of writing with an IA and adding your human voice to it.

Please consult the calendar of assignments and get organised to hand in your papers by the given deadline.

Upload your opinion pieces here

Writing in English

The papers you must hand in in the course of the semester are short opinion pieces (two pages, give or take one paragraph, using Times 12 and a 1.5 spacing).

The goal is to write a publishable piece (for a blog for example) aimed at a broad international readership who do not necessarily have an in-depth knowledge of Britain. You should not write as if your tutor was the only reader but aim at writing something that could be read widely.

On the first draft of your opinion piece, I underline what needs improving linguistically and suggest ways by which you may improve the content of your paper. You will then have a go at improving your paper. Please always hand in the final version together with the first draft containing my proof-reading marks.

The meaning of my proofreading marks as well as a few pieces of advice to improve your writing skills can be found on this page.

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