Stephanie E Smallwood
Comparative examination of slavery in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa from 1450-1800. Central concerns include: development of the Atlantic slave trade; diverse uses of slave labor in the Atlantic world; slave cultures that developed in the Americas; and ways Africans and African-Americans resisted their bondage.
This upper division lecture course examines the development of African slavery in the Atlantic basin, from its fifteenth-century beginnings through the nineteenth-century era of abolition. Our oceanic focus will allow us to take in the enormous breadth of slavery in the Atlantic basin. We will begin by following the earliest shipments of slaves between parts of the Atlantic African coast and to parts of western Europe in the fifteenth century. We will then consider the development of a transatlantic traffic carrying African slaves to Europe's American colonies beginning in the sixteenth century; and spend a good deal of time studying the American slave societies produced during the height of the transatlantic slave trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Finally, we will wind down by examining the "problem" of slavery in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century "age of revolution." Among the questions we will ask as we close out the course will be whether slavery and human trafficking were fully eradicated by nineteenth-century abolition?
Student learning goals
Students will a) be able to situate the more familiar narrative of U.S. racial slavery in the wider context of European overseas expansion and colonization in the Atlantic basin; b) understand how African slavery varied across space and over time in the Atlantic world
Students will hone their ability to identify and critique historical arguments
Students will continue to polish their expository writing skills
General method of instruction
Classroom time will include lectures and discussion -- therefore regular attendance, completing assigned readings on time, and active participation will be required
Class assignments and grading
Students can expect reading assignments ranging from 75-150 pages per week; weekly 2pp response papers (credit/no credit); a graded paper assignment and two exams
Assignments and grading will be outlined in detail in the course syllabus.