Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3126: New York Field Trip

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (12 weeks) and term 2 (6 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Delacey Tedesco (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Field research on specific case studies are crucial for understanding and analysing contemporary politics. Politics takes place, makes place, and is shaped by place in many different ways: not just through elections, policy, and diplomacy but also through community organizing, development proposals, memorialization practices, and access to public goods and public space. While Politics and International Relations have many approaches to studying politics within and between formal state government, understanding politics also requires paying attention to how people manage collective life in these everyday settings. This field trip module prepares you to study and analyse how the formal practices of government intersect with the politics of everyday life in specific places, drawing not just on politics and international relations, but other relevant disciplines, for insights and research techniques.

Field work can take a variety of different forms, ranging from participant observation of everyday events and sites, to exploratory conversations with community members, to situated analyses of grassroots organizations and visual, aesthetic, spatial, or economic analyses of politicised spaces and public forums. By offering you the opportunity to travel to New York on a Departmentally subsidised field trip, this module provides you with the basic training required to carry out ethical field work, and then provides you with an opportunity to do so under a controlled, supervised setting.

This module combines a programme of taught theory and methodology, directed studies and a six day field trip mixing guided and independent field research. You will apply a variety of research methods to analyze New York City as a site of intimate, urban, state, and global politics. You will keep an ethnographic notebook of your travels, collect photos of meaningful sites, conduct interviews with key individuals and critically assess the politics of commemoration and the negotiation of space in New York, so as to produce a report on the city’s politics.

Module created


Last revised