Black Studies module to be offered by Trinity as early as next year

Campaign group confirms Provost’s support for the module

An elective module in Black Studies may be available to students at Trinity from Hilary term of 2021, according to a post from a campaign group advocating for the module.  

The authors of a petition, which now has over 2,800 signatures and urges for the introduction of the module in Trinity, issued a statement on social media that they have met with Provost Patrick Prendergast and have his support.

The post on the campaign’s Facebook page states that the provost gave his assurance that College are “now working at full speed on the practises of running and staffing” a Black Studies module within Trinity.

It further states that both Prendergast and Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Clodagh Brook acknowledged that the absence of such a module has been “a gap” in the “institution and education” of Trinity. 

The module is to be offered as a “Trinity elective”, a new system introduced in 2019 which allows students to study a module outside of the subject area of their course. It is hoped by College that the module will be available from Hilary term of 2021. 

The module would be the second of its kind in Ireland, the first having been launched at University College Dublin (UCD) in 2018.

The petition, which first sparked debate on the topic, was written and launched by rising Junior Sophister students Jennifer Waters and Claire Stalhuth. It states that the desire for a Black Studies module stems from a need for  “direct implementation [of racial education] in our classrooms with our students”, and that current Trinity engagement is “not enough”.

The petition further states that “The fact that people are individually tasked with unlearning their racism and are educating themselves on white privilege is proof that our academic institutions have failed us.”

Trinity’s elective modules replaced the previous Broad Curriculum system, with 1,578 students opting to take one of 26 new elective modules during the first year of their implementation. Electives previously announced for the 2020/21 academic year encompass areas such as languages, patients’ experience of cancer, internet security and privacy, forced migration, and design thinking.

The electives are available to most Senior Fresh and Junior Sophister students with the exception of most health science students and students studying music education, social work and social policy, European studies, and Joint Honours combinations that include computer science or business studies.

This post was amended on 18/06/20 at 21:20 to correct the name of Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Clodagh Brook, whom the article originally referred to as Brenda Brook.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.