21st September 2019



London modules

London: Aspects of Change - Term 1

This module uses contemporary London as a laboratory to introduce and explore a series of interconnected and interdisciplinary critical themes within urban studies. Reflecting on and developing ideas and perspectives from Ruth Glass's London: Aspects of Change (1964) and Patrick Keiller's film London (1994), it seeks to identify and investigate some of the main transformations London has undergone over the last fifty years. The focus ranges from socio-spatial dynamics of London's economy and housing markets, to new understandings of urban nature and notions of the multiethnic or multicultural city, to developments in London's architectural, literary and musical life. Throughout, the course emphasises the specific spaces, places and histories of London's metropolitan and suburban life, and the social, cultural and political landscapes that have shaped and fashioned the city.


Suggested reading:


Buck, N. et al. 2002. Working Capital:Life and Labour in Contemporary London, London: Routledge. 

Campkin, B. 2013. Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture. IB Tauris.

Gibson, S. and Kerr, J. (eds.) 2003. London from Punk to Blair. London: Reaktion.  

Glass, R. 1964. London- Aspects of Change. Macgibbon & Kee.

Hall, P.G., 1963. London 2000, London: Faber & Faber.  

Hamnett, C., 2003. Unequal City: London in the Global Arena, London: Routledge.

Hebbert, M. 1998: London: More by Fortune than Design. Chichester: John Wiley.

Massey, D.B., 2007. World City. Cambridge:Polity.  .

Minton, A. 2017. Big Capital: Who is London For. Penguin.

Murphy, D. 2017. Nincompoopolis. Repeater.

Raban, J. 1974. Soft City. London:Hamilton.

Sandhu, S. 2007. Night Haunts. London:Artangel/Verso.  

Sinclair, I., 1997. Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London, London: GrantaBooks.

Wright, P., 1991. A Journey Through Ruins: The Last Days of London, London: Radius. 

Abney Park visit
London routes coursework

Histories of Global London, 1900 to the Present - Term 2

Dr Ben Campkin and Dr Clare Melhuish

Taking London as our primary case study this module focuses on understanding how the city’s built environment has been shaped by its global connections and associated population flows, from 1900 to the present. It considers the changing framework of planning and community development legislation at a number of definitive moments, such as the publication of the County of London Plan (1943). The module draws on ethnographic, literary and visual sources to analyse key changes in the built environment in relation to the cultural representation of minority social groups. It will augment understandings of the significance of ‘subaltern’ community identities, ethnicities, cultural practices and intangible heritage in the formation of particular London neighbourhoods and built landscapes during this period, positioning the city’s global histories and diversity as central to a critical understanding of its urban heritage and futures. The module asks students to engage critically with questions such as: how do we assess urban heritage as a social, cultural and economic asset for urban development in complex multicultural/postcolonial cities (UNESCO 2011)?

Participants engage with key debates in the history and theory of urban change in relation to theories of identity, critical heritage, and equalities. Part 1 focuses on historical, theoretical and methodological contexts (15 credits) and Parts 1+2 (30 credits) also includes fieldwork at an identified London site and/or archive and production of an appropriate output.

Street sign in Shoreditch. Photo: Antonio Nunes (student 2008-2010)

Street sign in Shoreditch. Photo: Antonio Nunes (student 2008-2010)

Visit to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (with thanks to Ken Greenway)

Visit to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (with thanks to Ken Greenway)

Ministry of Internal Affairs, Belgrade Photo: Sara Debevec (student 2008-2009)

Ministry of Internal Affairs, Belgrade Photo: Sara Debevec (student 2008-2009)