Module Catalogue 2024/25

ARA2097 : Colonial Worlds: History and Archaeology

ARA2097 : Colonial Worlds: History and Archaeology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Eric Tourigny
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module explores through texts and objects the physical and social landscapes created in the ‘New World’ (and at ‘home’ in Europe too), as European colonisers interacted with Indigenous peoples. We focus on the Caribbean, North America, Western and Southern Africa, and Britain and look mainly at the period from 1492 – c.1900. Topics to be covered include the archaeology of Spanish and British settlement in the Caribbean; the study of colonial elites and Indigenous peoples in British North America; slavery and of global consumerism; heritage and racism in Southern Africa, and colonial heritage presentation issues today.

The aims of this module are:

- To introduce students to the history and archaeology of European overseas exploration and settlement, in selected contexts from 1492 to the 20th century.
- To introduce students to the history and archaeology of Britain after 1492, and to encourage an understanding of the relationship between overseas exploration and developments in the ‘home’ country.
- To examine and engage in debates about the range of interpretative frameworks available for modelling contact and culture change in selected colonial contexts.
- To expand students’ understanding of the relationship between documentary sources and archaeological data that characterises historical archaeology as a discipline.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics to include:

The Caribbean
North America
West and Southern Africa
Bringing it home to Britain

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- Students will demonstrate an awareness of the globalizing processes (conquest, empire, colonialism, trade and slavery) shaping Europe and its colonies after 1492.
- Students will demonstrate a detailed awareness of a variety of historically documented colonial encounters.
- Students will be familiar with a variety of interpretative frameworks for modelling contact and culture change in colonial contexts, and will show an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these models.
- Students will show an appreciation of the legacies of colonialism, and their impact upon archaeological scholarship, and heritage presentation.

Intended Skill Outcomes

In order to complete the module successfully, all students must demonstrate that they have developed the following intellectual skills:

Reading, understanding, critiquing historical and archaeological data;
Analysing and evaluating archaeologists’ use of evidence;
Research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results.

All students will also develop the following key skills:
Time management
Bibliographic and library skills
Oral discussion and debate
Writing and revising analytic prose
Making sense of disparate forms of data (archaeological and documentary)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion581:0058:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion71:007:00Formative assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:002 x 1hr lectures per week
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading401:0040:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00Additional guided reading from module handbook
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:001 hr per week
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities222:0044:002hrs prep task per seminar
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide a broad overview of the history and archaeology of one of four selected case-studies areas. Seminars either examine one aspect of that week’s overview in greater depth, or cover aspects of study skills and coursework preparation. Many seminars involve some group work, and all are designed to tie into, and support, the set written work. Advance preparatory work is required for most seminars

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M50Problem solving exercise (New Frisia) 1750 words
Essay2A501750 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MPractice problem solving exercise, New Frisia (500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Data handling exercise (Formative and Assessment 1; Problem solving exercise) foster independent research and problem solving skills. The essay essays tests depth of understanding of a central theme raised in the module.

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


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

On the basis of both student feedback and decline in module recriutment (because students avoid exams) we have replaced the 24 hour exam with an essay as the 2nd assessment for this module. The retention of the problem-solving exercise allows us to maintain a mixed assessment format for this module and tests different skills to the essay.

Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.