Stephanie M. H. Camp
Explores the making of American slavery from beginnings on the African coast to the plantations of the southern United States. Includes slave life, pro-slavery thought, slave management, representations of slavery then and now, abolitionism, and debates about slavery.
This class explores the making of American slavery first on the African coast and then on the plantations of the southern United States. Slave life, proslavery thought, slave management, abolitionism, debates about slavery, the relationship between slavery and freedom, the North’s connections to slavery and more are studied. With attention to cultural and social change within and in response to American slavery, this course explores slavery from multiple perspectives: those of enslaved and free blacks, slaveholding women and men, working and poor whites who did not own slaves, as well as black and white abolitionists. One of our main concerns in the class with the role of slavery in making the U.S. as a nation.
Student learning goals
(1) The course aims, first, to familiarize students with many of the main issues and topics that have captivated historians and,
(2) to present students with the opportunity to hone their analytical skills. The course is especially interested in practicing the ability to gather material from a range of sources, to consider them critically, and to come to conclusions independently. Toward the first end, lectures and reading cover a range of issues and topics. Toward the second, discussions in Friday sections (and sometimes in lecture), exams, and the paper all require students to express their ideas based on a variety of course materials.
General method of instruction
Lectures twice per week, discussion section once per week, readings due for discussion once per week.
Willingness to read a good deal and to discuss the readings with other students. No prerequisites.
Class assignments and grading
Students are expected to: Participate consistently based on weekly reading assignments; take three examinations (based on readings and lectures); and write a 6-7 pp. essay.
(Subject to revision:) The two midterms are worth 15% each; the final, 20%; the essay is worth 20% and the paper proposal 5%. Discussion grades are worth 25% of the final grade.