Street Protest and Social Movements in the Modern Era: Sources (HIH3296)

StaffDr Matthias Reiss - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits of History at Level 1 and/or Level 2.
Co-requisitesHIH3297 Street Protest and Social Movements in the Modern Era: Context
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module helps students to get an interdisciplinary perspective on the history, meaning and impact of street protest in Great Britain, the United States and other countries. It trains students how to interpret and contextualise a wide variety of different and often unfamiliar sources, such images, film and music, parliamentary debates, government files, police records, ego-documents, newspaper articles and novels. It also helps them to improve their presentation skills by asking them to do a variety of group presentations as well as one single assessed presentation.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Have a detailed knowledge of the different sources available for the study of street protest and social movements, together with a very close specialist knowledge of those sources which the students focus upon in their seminar presentations and written work.
  • 2. Analyse the complex diversity of the sources studied.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Analyse closely original sources and to assess their reliability as historical evidence and to focus on and comprehend complex texts.
  • 4. Understand and deploy relevant historical terminology in a comprehensible manner.
  • 5. Follow street protest across the period.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Independently and autonomously study and also work within a group, including presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 7. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 8. Present complex arguments orally.

Syllabus plan

The module focuses on primary sources dealing with street protest in the context of social movements in Great Britain, the United States and other countries. Among the protests it deals with are, for example, the demonstrations of the unemployed in Britain during the 1880s, May Day demonstrations in a global context, Coxey’s Army, suffrage parades in Britain and America, the protest of the unemployed in Britain and America between the World Wars, the 1930 Salt March in India, the TUC Hyde Park demonstration in 1933, the Battle of Cable Street, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the protest against the war in Vietnam, the People’s Marches for Jobs in the 1980s, the protest in Northern Ireland, the Million Man March of 1995, and protest events organised by the Global Justice Movement. In addition it will address themes such as leadership, music, policing, memory or the impact of the media, and students will be asked to research a protest event of their choice.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities44Seminars (22x2hr)
Guided independent study256Reading and preparation for seminars, coursework and presentations.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through course1-6, 8Oral from tutor and fellow students.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio702 assignments totalling 4000 words1-7Verbal and written
Individual presentation3020-30 minutes1-8Verbal and written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio1-7Referral/deferral period
PresentationWritten transcript of 20 minute presentation.1-8

Re-assessment notes

The re-assessment consists of a 4,000 word portfolio of source work, as in the original assessment, but replaces the individual presentation with a written script that could be delivered in such a presentation and which is the equivalent of 20 minutes of speech.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Cohen, Max, I was One of the Unemployed (London, 1945).

Frow, Edmund, and Ruth Frow, The Battle of Bexley Square: Salford Unemployed Workers’ Demonstration – 1st October, 1931 (Salford, 1994).

Hannington, Wal, Unemployed Struggles 1919-1936: My Life and Struggles amongst the Unemployed (London, 1977).

Lynskey, Dorian, 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs (London, 2010).

MacDougall, Ian (ed.), Voices from the Hunger Marches: Personal Recollections by Scottish Hunger Marchers of the 1920s and 1930s, Vol. I (Edinburgh, 1990).

Madhubuti, Haki R. and Maulana Karenga (eds.), Million Man March / Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology (Chicago, 1996).

Mailer, Norman, The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History (1st publ. 1968; New York, 1994).

Minnion, John and Philip Bolsover (eds.), The CND Story: The first 25Years of CND in the Words of the People involved (London, 1983)

Wilkinson, Ellen, The Town that was Murdered: The Life Story of Jarrow (London, 1939).

Various films such as: Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz at al, March to Aldermaston, Docu-Drama, UK 1959, B&W, 33mins.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:

“A Guid Cause… The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland – their Struggles for Change within Society,”

“BBC Archive: Bloody Sunday,”

“Greenham Common: The Women’s Peace Camp 1981-2000,”

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Protest, Social Movements, Suffrage, Civil Rights, Feminism, Peace Movement, Unemployment, Modern Britain, United States, Policing, Memory, Leadership