This course traces the transatlantic enslavement of Africans and people of African descent, as well as the ways in which those who had been enslaved resisted slavery, in North America as well as Caribbean societies such as Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. People from Europe and Africa, as well as members of new societies in the Caribbean and in North America, took part in struggles over this new structure of oppression from the first Portuguese extraction of enslaved persons from the West African coast in the 15th century through the abolition struggles and emancipations of the 19th century. Europeans and white Americans turned the pervasive and age-old practice of slavery into something new in its profits, its cruelties, and its capacity to generate new identities and forms of inequality. Resistance to slavery is an essential part of this history and receives great attention in this course, including materials on uprisings in Caribbean societies such as Haiti. This course gives significant focus to issues of race and racism.
Prerequisites: Writing I or equivalent.
4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 2, 2023 to present
Meets graduation requirements for
- Synthesize data, methods, and theories that historians have used to create knowledge of the enslavement of Africans and people of African descent, and the resistance of enslaved and free people to slavery, in North America and the Caribbean from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
- Reframe the social construction of race, racism, and systems of white supremacy, as well as resistance to these systems, in a transoceanic environment that connected West African societies, Caribbean societies, and mainland North America and the United States from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
- Evaluate the ways in which the systems of enslavement, slavery-based enterprise, and racist ideology created structural foundations for American society and culture.
- Analyze and connect the personal responses of historical actors to slavery and racism with responses of their own and their contemporary Americans
- Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
- Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
- Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
- Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
- Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
- Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
- Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
- Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.