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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Freedom and Coercion in the Making of the Atlantic World (PGHC11543)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe transatlantic slave trade wrought the early modern Atlantic world, connecting West and West Central Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas in a web of trade, diplomacy, cultural clash and assimilation, labour exploitation, and resource extraction. From this often coercive dynamic, people generated diverse and lasting articulations of the nature and need for freedom. This course considers the practices, processes, and ideas that built the early Atlantic world, with a particular focus on the sites of sixteenth- to seventeenth-century Ireland, Barbados, and the Gold Coast of West Africa.
Course description In this course, students will learn key concepts for the study of the early modern Atlantic world. Our focus will be on the foundational themes of Atlantic history: freedom and coercion. We will study how early modern people forged an Atlantic economy based on the attempted commodification of African captives, the expropriation of Indigenous resources, and the invention of new legal cultures that supported plantation systems. The course begins with core historiographical frameworks of the Atlantic world, and then moves into the study of three sites - sixteenth- to seventeenth-century Ireland, Barbados, and the Gold Coast of West Africa - before concluding with scholarly criticisms of Atlantic approaches and a comparison with global history methods.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Freedom and Coercion in the Making of the Atlantic World (online) (PGHC11542)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate knowledge of the key processes in the formation of the early modern Atlantic world
  2. reflect critically on a variety of scholarly approaches to Atlantic history
  3. demonstrate autonomy and creativity in the conceptualization of a research problem in Atlantic history, the direction of research, and the writing of an analytical essay answering the posed problem
  4. explain the meanings and limitations of the following concepts: coercion, freedom, colonization, commodification, identity, diaspora, race
  5. assess the value and limitations of various types of primary sources for the study of the early modern Atlantic world
Reading List
1. Nicholas P. Canny, Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

2. Jennifer L. Morgan, Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).

3. Stephanie E. Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007).

4. Susan Dwyer Amussen, Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

5. Christopher L. Tomlins, Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

6. William A. Pettigrew, Freedom¿s Debt: The Royal African Company and the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1672-1752 (Chapel Hill, NC: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

7. Jenny Shaw, Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference (Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 2013).

8. Simon P. Newman, A New World of Labor: The Development of Plantation Slavery in the British Atlantic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).

9. Jane Ohlmeyer, ed., The Cambridge History of Ireland, vol. Volume 2: 1550-1730 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

10. Toby Green, A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (London: Allen Lane, 2019).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - A questioning disposition and the ability to formulate and pursue clearly defined questions
- Analytical ability to solve problems, including complex problems to which there is no single solution
- Structure, coherence, clarity, and fluency of oral and written expression, marshalling relevant evidence
- The ability to read and analyse primary sources, both critically and empathetically, while addressing questions of context, reliability of evidence, motivation of author, corroboration with other evidence, and silences in the archive
- A command of comparative and connective perspectives, including the ability to compare the histories of different countries, societies, and cultures
KeywordsNot entered
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