The course will explore the historical and cultural significance of slavery in the Atlantic world. We will tour the Cape Coast Castle and Slave Dungeons in Ghana to better understand the sheer scale of the transatlantic slave trade and the politics of memory. The course will examine the relationship of the slave trade to major ports and cities of the Atlantic world economy such as Lisbon, Cadiz, Cape Coast, Port of Salvador, and Port of Spain. We will examine the central role of transatlantic slavery as a watershed historical moment across regions, nationalities, race/ethnicity, and religion, tracing how unfree labor shaped the cultures of the Atlantic world from its origin to the present including various episodes of conquest, resistance, and revolution. We will analyze primary sources to better understand how the project of mass slavery in the Americas decimated and transformed indigenous populations, recast identities of Western Europeans and Western Africans, and continues to influence the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean.
*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: November 1, 2019
In this field class, we will visit the Cape Coast Castle and the Slave Dungeons in Ghana to better understand the scale of the transatlantic slave trade in the Atlantic World and the politics of memory surrounding the slave trade in Africa. Specifically, we will explore the historical aspects of the slave trade to better understand the long-term social, geopolitical, and economic impacts. We will hear diverse perspectives and interpretations of the transatlantic slave trade and discuss the role of the trade in transforming the culture, memory, and identity of Africans and African-descended people.
1. Students will understand the scale of the transatlantic slave trade and its role in shaping the Atlantic world in the past as well as assessing its ongoing relationship to the identity of the African Diaspora in the present.
2. Students will understand the role of slavery and the politics of memory and preservation in West Africa.
3. Students will discuss the controversies of the memory and history of the slave trade and its relevance to ongoing debates over belonging, place, identity, and culture in the Atlantic World using historical and interdisciplinary methods.