Module Catalogue 2020/21

HIS2170 : The History of New Orleans

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Bruce Baker
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The module aims:

•       To examine the development of New Orleans over time in relation to its natural and built environment.
•       To explain how the social and political structures of New Orleans evolved and how the legacies of earlier social and political structures affected that evolution.
•       To consider how the culture of New Orleans changed over time and the relationship between external and indigenous influences on the culture.
•       To examine the economic and business history of New Orleans, with a particular emphasis on its relationship to national and transnational economies.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Accidental City
Colonial New Orleans
The Americanisation of New Orleans
Slavery and Antebellum Trade
The Sinews of an Expanding City
Civil War and Reconstruction
New Orleans in the Global Economy of the Late Nineteenth Century
Jazz in a Modernising City
Twentieth-Century New Orleans
This City Won’t Wash Away: Katrina and the Twenty-First Century

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The intention of the module is to enable students to acquire a knowledge of the history of New Orleans, one of the most important cities in North America over the last three centuries. A particular focus will be on the relationship between the city and the natural and built environment, the economy of New Orleans and its place within wider trading patterns, the nature and legacies of slavery, and the development of the unique culture of New Orleans.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Development of associated skills in research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results.

Students will be encouraged to develop a range of transferable skills which can be applied to other periods of history and other spheres of intellectual activity, including aural comprehension and note taking, the ability to follow an argument and prioritise and select material, to read and to reason critically and to participate in discussion. Students should also be able to evaluate different kinds of sources, both primary and secondary (including visual and numerical material).

In addition the module is intended to help students understand the relationship between social structures, culture, the economy, and historical change in a way that is applicable to other historical contexts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:0020% of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are designed to introduce students to concepts, ideas, debates, interpretations and arguments that are unfamiliar to them, and to provide students with core knowledge about the subjects and themes explored in the module. The lectures will also provide a framework upon which students can build their own knowledge and understanding. Lectures will make use of PowerPoint presentations, handouts and a variety of sources (visual and textual) which will help guide students in their independent study of recommended reading, and critical evaluation of source material.

Seminars are intended to complement lectures, but also allow students an opportunity to explore challenging subjects through the discussion of recommended reading. Preparation for seminars will promote critical skills and independent research, while the seminars themselves will foster oral presentation, interpersonal communication, discussion and debate, and critical skills, and will give students the confidence to develop their own arguments and interpretation in response to secondary and primary sources.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation101M10Presentations by student groups on project.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1A10Preparation of material from group project for web page presentation
Written exercise1M30Individual section of group project (2000 words)
Report1M35A focused report on a specific research question following a set format (2000 words)
Prob solv exercises1M15Online quiz covering geography & basic terminology necessary as background for understanding the history of New Orleans
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Online Quiz tests students' basic knowledge of geographical information and relationships and terminology specific to the module's content that provide a baseline and background for further study of the subject, which is why it comes very near the beginning of the module.

The Research Report tests students' ability to understand and respond to a specific question, to examine and analyse primary source documents and secondary literature, to conduct independent research on a small scale, and to synthesise findings into a report that follows a standard template.

The Group Project tests students' abilities to work collaboratively in a group on an extended project, which requires a number of subsidiary skills, including communication, planning, division of tasks and responsibilities, and working to deadline with others. The component of the project each individual is responsible for tests the same skills as a standard essay, including formulating a research question, carrying out research independently, synthesising information, and writing. The group presentation provides opportunities to demonstrate skills in speaking to groups, and the website component tests ability to present information in a format accessible to a wider audience.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.