Fall 2015

The Age of Emancipation in the Atlantic World, 1790-1900

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-381  |  History, as HIST-365


Mary E. Hicks (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 381 [CLA/D] and HIST 365 [LA/FA].)  Was the emancipation of millions of African-descended people from the bonds of chattel slavery--beginning with the 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti and ending with Brazilian abolition in 1888--a transformational moment for the enslaved, or did it merely mark an evolution in continuing exploitation of black people throughout the Americas?  This course scrutinizes the complex economic, political, ideological, social and cultural contexts which caused and were remade by emancipation.  Students are asked to consider emancipation as a global historical process unconstrained by the boundaries of the modern nation-state, while exploring the reasons for and consequences of emancipation from a trans-national perspective that incorporates the histories of the U.S., the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.  By focusing on the ideological ambiguities and lived experiences of enslaved people, political actors, abolitionists, religious leaders, employers and many others, this seminar will question what constitutes equality, citizenship, and labor exploitation.  Finally the course will explore what role emancipated slaves played in shaping the historical meanings and practices of modern democracy. 

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester.  Professor Hicks.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to Black Studies majors, by class level, if necessary.


2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Fall 2017