British Multiculturalism, Religion and the Media

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. Students will be asked to comment on this paper by using the annotating online tool Hypothes.is.

The thematic folders can be downloaded from here. Please note that although these folders include the scholarly papers, you must annotate them online, accessing them through the link in the next section of this page.

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.

Annotating scholarly papers with Hypothes.is

Please read the step-by-step guide to using Hypothes.is first.

The papers to annotate can be viewed here.

Assignments

In the course of the semester, you will write three opinion pieces (80% of your final mark), making use of three of the six thematic folders that can be downloaded from above. For the first two pieces you will write a first draft version that I will annotate to help you maximise the quality of your second draft. For the last piece there will not be any first draft and you will hand in the final version only.

Next to these writing exercises, you will get a participation mark (20% of your final mark) which will result from the reflexive quality of your online annotations on four scholarly papers.

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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