18th-Century British America

This course will offer an introduction to the British colonies in North America up to the American Revolution.

Antionio Gisbert, The Landing of the Puritans in North America

First assignment: Research Paper

Your research paper will be on the subject of Christianity and slavery in the 18th-century British Empire. You must not write anything general about this subject, but choose one particular aspect and focus, and define a research question that you find interesting. In order to do so, you must read as extensively as possible. The aim of the exercise is not to write an introduction to the subject but give a short in-depth analysis of one particular aspect of the question. Thanks to your readings, you can focus on a particular group, individual, place, time, problem, belief, etc.

In order to get some general knowledge of the institution of slavery, the slave trade and slave holders, a good starting point is A People and a Nation, which is available at the university library (please use the 2010 edition). For more in-depth knowledge, you should read at least three of the papers below (available electronically through the university library). I have intentionally left out some of the references. You will have to give the full reference in MLA style in your bibliography.

  • Daniels, Jason. ‘Protest and Participation: Reconsidering the Quaker Slave Trade in Early Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia’. 
  • Gerbner, Katharine. ‘“We Are Against the Traffik of Men-Body”: The Germantown Quaker Protest of 1688 and the Origins of American Abolitionism.’
  • Gunn, Jeffrey. ‘Creating a Paradox: Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and the Slave Trade’s Violation of the Principles of Christianity, Reason, and Property Ownership’. 
  • McLean-Farrell, Janice, and Michael Anderson Clarke. ‘Missions in Contested Places/Spaces: The SPG, Slavery, and Codrington College, Barbados’.
  • Nagl, Dominik. ‘The Governmentality of Slavery in Colonial Boston, 1690-1760’.
  • Reese, Ty M. ‘“Sheep in the Jaws of So Many Ravenous Wolves”: The Slave Trade and Anglican Missionary Activity at Cape Coast Castle, 1752-1816’.
  • Sawh, Ruth, and Alice M. Scales. ‘Middle Passage in the Triangular Slave Trade: The West Indies’.

You can also read any other source that seems relevant to you as long as you can find it on the university library website. The use of non-academic sources will be penalised.

In your readings, when you come across names or notions that you do not understand, look them up in a reliable encyclopedia like the Encyclopedia Britannica (available online).

Your research paper should be written in MLA style and your text must include in-text citations whether you quote or indirectly refer to your readings.

You paper should be between 500 and 700 words long.

Hand in your paper by Monday 13th March by uploading it to the Moodle page of the course.

Final Assignment: text commentary

Your final assignment follows from the first. You will comment a historical document that relates to the subject of Christianity and slavery.

In order to get some familiarity with historical documents, you will be asked to annotate a few documents online in the course of the semester, using the hypothes.is online tool. You must create a free hypothes.is account. Please follow this step-by-step guide.