Apr 24 2020
Matters of Belonging: Teaching Race and Identity in Tudor and Stuart England

'Wither would you go? What country/should give you harbour…?

Based on TIDE and Runnymede Trust's pioneering Beacon Fellowship, this course material draws on the TIDE project’s Keywords essays to offer support for educators looking to teach migration, race, and identity, and to diversify their approaches to the National Curriculum. This mini course is concerned with how we incorporate a history of cross-cultural identities and a history of human mobility into the national story, drawing on material from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. It is our contention that this era is critical to understanding colonialism and its legacies. This was the time when the English first began to extend their authority over territories and peoples beyond the British Isles. Many of the ideas around civility, empire, citizenship, and race that underpinned subsequent colonial projects were first debated under the Tudors and Stuarts. As we explain below, each Reading Pack builds on several of our TIDE: Keywords essays, clustered in four themes: Belonging, Outsiders, Perceptions, and Empire.

We believe that developing conversations in schools about migration and transcultural identities – including the possibilities of being a ‘third thing’, belonging neither to one culture or another, but a mixture of them based on personal experiencing and adaptation – is integral to understanding our history and who we are today. We hope these resources can assist teachers who face the task of moving their teaching to online platforms and devising alternatives to school trips to museums and historic properties to engage with issues of cultural heritage and identity.

Each Reading Pack in this 4-part mini-course centres on one or more keywords, most of them terms of identification or categorization that offers a prism through which to explore key ideas around citizenship, belonging, and colonial/imperial legacies. Alongside the TIDE Keywords essays that address those specific terms, you will find a cluster of historical and literary excerpts, with brief explanatory headnotes. These can be used to spark conversations, open up debates, and prompt further activities or assignments.