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The Black Atlantic World

Taught by Dr. Steven Salm

This course links together the histories of four continents: Africa, Europe, North America and South America. The movement of peoples and ideas across the Atlantic Ocean from the pre-Columbian era onward has had an enormous impact on the development of Atlantic societies. Although we often employ images of the Atlantic Ocean as a barrier separating Africa (roots) from the rest of the world, in this course we will consider the ocean as a multi-directional conductor (routes) and emphasize the roles of non-Europeans, and particularly Africans, as historical actors in the making of a new, trans-Atlantic world. For more than four centuries, Atlantic slave traders forced between fifteen and twenty million Africans from their homes. Some went to Europe but the majority arrived in the New World. Today, members of the African diaspora can be found in every country of the world. In North and South America, the Caribbean, and much of Western Europe, however, people of the African diaspora have created complex and highly differentiated languages, religions, and cultures. This course explores the political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual linkages that form an integrated system that scholars call the Black Atlantic. The diversity of cultures and societies in the Black Atlantic is tempered by a unity of shared histories and

  • Pre-requisites: HIST 1030, HIST 1040
  • Fulfills: upper level history course
  • For more information: Dr. Salm in Xavier's History Department

Course begins: Fall 2004

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