Street Protest and Social Movements in the Modern Era: Context (HIH3297)

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-requisitesHIH3296 Street Protest and Social Movements in the Modern Era  Sources
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 them in interpreting and contextualizing a wide variety of different and often unfamiliar sources, such as images, film and music, and helps them to improve their presentation skills by asking them to do a variety of group presentations on a range of different topics.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate the different complex themes in the history of street protest and social movements.
  • 2. Make close specialist evaluation of the key developments within the period, developed through independent study and seminar work.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Analyse the key developments within the study of street protest and social movements.
  • 4. Focus on and comprehend complex issues.
  • 5. Understand and deploy relevant historical terminology in a comprehensible manner.
  • 6. Follow street protest across the period.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

Syllabus plan

The module focuses on the historical context which triggered street protest and social movements in Great Britain, the United States and other countries. Among the protests it deals with are, for example, the protest 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 the protest events organized by the Global Justice Movement. In addition it will address themes such as leadership, music, policing 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 course1-7, 9Verbal 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
Essay253000 words1-8Verbal and written
Unseen Exam502 questions in 2 hours1-8Verbal and written
Essay253000 words1-8Verbal and written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Two essaysTwo essays1-8Referral/deferral period
Unseen examUnseen exam1-8Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Barber, Lucy G., Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition (Berkeley, 2002).

Della Porta, Donatella, and Mario Diani, Social Movements: An Introduction (Malden, Mass., 2006).

Dickson, Paul and Thomas B. Allen, The Bonus Army: An American Epic (New York, 2004).

Flanagan, Richard, “Parish-Fed Bastards”: A History of the Politics of the Unemployed in Britain, 1884-1939 (New York, 1991).

Folson, Franklin, Impatient Armies of the Poor: The Story of Collective Action of the Unemployed, 1808-1942 (Niwot, 1991).

Jarman, Neil, Material Conflicts: Parades and Visual Displays in Northern Ireland (Oxford, 1997).

Kingsford, Peter, The Hunger Marchers in Britain, 1920-1939 (London, 1982).

Klandermans, Bert and Suzanne Staggenborg, Methods of Social Movement Research (Minneapolis, 2002).

Kushner, Tony and Nadia Valman (eds.), Remembering Cable Street: Fascism and Anti-Fascism in British Society (London, 2000).

Reiss, Matthias (ed.), The Street as Stage: Protest Marches and Public Rallies since the Nineteenth Century (Oxford, 2007).

Tickner, Lisa, The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign 1907-14 (Chicago, 1988).

Tilly, Charles, Social Movements, 1768-2004 (Boulder, 2004).

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,”

“Marching on Washington,”

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