Undergraduate

modules

Modules

HIS2234 : Atlantic Slave Trade, 1450- 1870

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module explores what W.E.B. Du Bois called the "most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history." The slave trade between 1450 and 1870 was the largest migration of people in the early modern Atlantic world and transported millions of Africans away from their native lands. Lectures and seminars will be geographically and chronologically wide-ranging, travelling back and forth between Africa, the Americas, and Europe for over four hundred years to study the politics and the economics of the trade as well as various slave experiences. Using a combination of first-hand accounts by slaves and slavers, ship logs, works of fiction, and analyses by historians, this module will consider the origins and the expansion of the trade, the development of plantation economy in the Americas, and finish with the abolition movement. This module tries to understand how historians approach the slave trade and the more recent debates about the Middle Passage and its representations in music, book, and film.

The aims of this module are:
• To introduce the students to a key event in Atlantic world history
• To think about history comparatively and to connect the histories of different regions and countries.
• To introduce students to historical thinking and to evaluate primary documents
• To enable the students to engage with debates concerning the slave trade

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide only.

1. Defining slavery in Africa, Europe, and the Americas
2. The enslavement of Africans
3. Leaving Africa
4. Aboard a slave ship
5. Telling stories of the Middle Passage
6. Life in the “New” World
7. Numbers of the Middle Passage
8. The slave trade's influence on ethnic, religious, and gender identities
9. Between slavery and freedom
10. The abolition movement
11. The slow end of the slave trade
12. Reparations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion651:0065:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading651:0065:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:0020% guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures provide an overview of the subject and general introduction to the relevant themes. They also provide an introduction to the key historiographical and conceptual debates. They also encourage development of listening and note-taking skills.
2. Seminars encourage independent study and promote oral presentation, interpersonal communication, and critical interpretation of primary sources.
3. Workshops develop research skills and introduce students to working with online and museum resources.
4. Drop in/surgeries will help students review their essay plans and develop their research and writing skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1351A75Unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M252000 words, including footnotes but excluding bibliography
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, and adaptability, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely. The essay tests students' ability to analyse source documents and the ability to formulate an interpretation of evidence.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading, and writing.


All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable