Assignments and Required Readings


Students will be evaluated based on general class participation and on two types of assignments: short papers and a historiographical essay.

general class participation, 20%: Because this is a graduate-level seminar, regular and consistent attendance is assumed; absences will have a negative effect on your grade at the instructor’s discretion.  Students are expected to be ready to discuss the assigned material for the day and to be actively engaged in class discussion and debate. Participation will be evaluated primarily for the quality of its content and its productive contributions to the overall discussion.

in-class presentation, 15%; Students will take turns making a ten-minute presentation and initiating discussion based on an assigned reading.

short papers, 30%: Students will write Three short paper (out of four opportunities) based on the course units.

historiographical esssay, 35%: students will write a 12-15 page historiographical essay based on a topic of their choosing.

Required readings:

Please be sure to acquire the most recent edition.

Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery, UNC Press.

Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship, Viking Press.

Luis A. Figueroa, Sugar, Slavery and Freedom, UNC Press.

Deborah Grey White, Ar’n’t I A Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South. New York: W.W. Norton, 1985, 1999 [2nd ed].

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market. Harvard University Press, 2001.

Seymour Drescher. Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition. Second Edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Richard Dunn, A Tale of Two Plantations, Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia. Harvard University Press, 2014.

Diane Mutti-Burke, On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865. University of Georgia Press, 2010.

Sherwin Bryant, Rivers of Gold, Lives of Bondage: Governing through Slavery in Colonial Quito. UNC Press, 2014.

Gregory E. O’Malley, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807 (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia) UNC, 2014.

Camillia Cowling, Conceiving Freedom: Women of Colour, Gender and the Abolition of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro. UNC, 2013.

Manuel Barcia, The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825. LSU Press, 2014

Articles will be placed on the course website.


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