Stephanie E Smallwood
Examines special topics in history.
The specific topic for this seminar format course will be "slavery and slave trading in Atlantic Africa." The course will cover key themes in precolonial west African history and explore the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on west African societies.
Student learning goals
Students will have a basic understanding of the types of societies found in west Africa in the period 1400-1800
Students will have an understanding of how the institution of slavery was practiced in precolonial Africa; how slavery in precolonial Africa differed from slavery in the early modern western world; and how the rise of the transatlantic slave trade transformed the nature of slavery in Africa
Students will improve their ability to identify and analyze arguments based on the use of historical evidence
Students will learn and practice the key tools and methods of historical scholarship: in this case, analysis of first-person narrative accounts of African slaves and slave traders' records
General method of instruction
This is a seminar: students will be expected to read up to 200 pp./one book per week, be prepared to make substantial contributions to weekly class discussion, and prepare a 15pp. research paper or historiographic essay
This course is best suited for Jr. and Sr. History majors, graduate students, or students otherwise comfortable managing heavy reading/writing loads
Class assignments and grading
Weekly reading assignments (roughly a book per/week); weekly 1-2 pp. response papers on the assigned reading; 15pp. paper