School history syllabi tend to focus on political history. Examining how identities changed and emerged through history, this course affords students the opportunity to explore a critical area of historical investigation: cultural history. Thus far this year we have examined geographical identities – from continents to nations, regions and cities – and considered theories on nationhood and the role of geography and crisis in creating city identities, from the Blitz to 9/11. To this end our Michaelmas trip is to the British Museum’s ‘South Africa: the art of a nation’, where we will consider the role of art in defining and promoting identities, as well as an historical source. Our new topic is race and racial identities, beginning with the age of exploration and the advent of European slavery.