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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephanie E Smallwood
HIST 490
Seattle Campus

Topics in History

Examines special topics in history.

Class description

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

Recommended preparation

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


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Stephanie E Smallwood
Date: 01/25/2007