Important information

  1. Class meets in University Hall 321, from 7pm to 9:50pm
  2. Instructor: John Garrigus; website:
  3. Email:
  4. Faculty profile:
  5. Office: University Hall 344
  6. History Department Telephone: 817-272-2661
  7. Office Hours: Monday 4pm to 5:30pm; Wednesday 2pm to 3:30. You can also make an appointment via email to talk on the phone or in person.
  8. BlackBoard:
  9. Link to the weekly schedule, below


This course will present a picture of the Caribbean quite different from that held by many North Americans. For 500 years, this region has been the site of encounters and clashes among Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, and Asians. For three centuries Europe’s leading states fought each other to control these islands, which were the most valuable real estate in the Atlantic world. At the same time Dutch, English, French and Spanish colonists imported millions of enslaved men, women, and children from Africa to work on the sugar and coffee plantations that made the region so profitable for its masters. Supported by racism and colonialism, plantation slavery left its mark on the Caribbean long after emancipation and independence.

Poverty and powerlessness could not prevent Caribbean people from developing their own resilient and resourceful cultures, forged in resistance to slavery and rooted in a shared African heritage. In music, religion, and literature the Caribbean has given the world new voices and modes of expression that many North Americans value, though often without understanding their origins.

The goal of this class is to trace the emergence of modern multi-ethnic Caribbean nations from the slave colonies of the not-so-distant past. We will show that that though they provide tourists with a picturesque “escape” destination, the islands of the Caribbean have played a central role in the history of the Atlantic world for the last 500 years.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to identify major Caribbean countries on a map. This will be assessed on a map quiz.
  2. Students will be able to use GIS tools to construct a map containing information from a primary source illustrating an event in Caribbean history. This will be assessed in the GIS project.
  3. Students will be able to construct reasonable interpretation of primary sources in Caribbean history. This will be assessed in class discussion and in the GIS project.
  4. Students will be able to construct reasonable interpretations of articles, books, and films about Caribbean history. This will be assessed in class discussions, two précis, and final essay.
  5. Students will be able to evaluate the impact on Caribbean peoples of factors including geography, global trade, slavery, racism, and imperialism. This will be assessed in class discussion and final essay.

Required Materials


You’ll need a laptop to bring to class for the GIS aspects of this course, and you will need to be able to install software on that machine. It can be a PC or Mac.


  1. Brown, Vincent, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2008).
  2. Dubois, Laurent, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2012).
  3. Ferrer, Ada, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  4. Gibson, Carrie, Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day (Grove Press, 2015).
  5. Pérez, Louis, The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2013).
  6. Popkin, Jeremy, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  7. Putnam, Lara, Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013).
  8. Wheat, David, Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean, 1570-1640 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Chapters and Articles: [follow links or find PDFs on Blackboard]

  1. Trevor Burnard, “The Sexual Life of an Eighteenth-Century Jamaican Slave Overseer,” in Sex and Sexuality in Early America, ed. Merril D. Smith (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 163–189.
  2. Paul Cheney, “Chapter Two: Production and Investment,” in Cul De Sac: Patrimony, Capitalism, and Slavery in French Saint-Domingue, pp42–70 (Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2017).
  3. Paul Cheney, “Chapter Five: Husband and Wife,” in Cul De Sac: Patrimony, Capitalism, and Slavery in French Saint-Domingue, pp130–160 (Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2017).
  4. Bayard Faithfull, “Four Reads: Learning to Read Primary Documents,” Teaching National History Education Clearinghouse, accessed August 16, 2018,
  5. B. W. Higman, “The Sugar Revolution,” The Economic History Review, New Series, 53, no. 2 (May 2000): 213–36.
  6. Sidney W. Mintz, “Enduring Substances, Trying Theories: The Caribbean Region as Oikoumene,” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2, no. 2 (June 1, 1996): 289–311,
  7. Marcy Norton, “The Chicken or the Iegue: Human-Animal Relationships and the Columbian Exchange,” The American Historical Review 120, no. 1 (February 1, 2015): 28–60,
  8. Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave. Related by Herself. With a Supplement by the Editor. To Which Is Added, the Narrative of Asa-Asa, a Captured African, 3rd ed. (London: F. Westley and A.H. Davis, 1831),
  9. Justin Roberts, “Chapter One: Clock Work: Time, Quantification, Amelioration, and the Enlightenment,” in Slavery and the Enlightenment in the British Atlantic, 1750–1807 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  10. Anthony Trollope, The West Indies and the Spanish Main, 5th ed. (London: Chapman and Hall, 1862),

Description of Major Assignments with Dates

Map quiz

  • Date: [2018-09-10 Mon]
  • I’ll pick ten countries on a map of the Caribbean and ask you to identify each of them, together with the main European language spoken there.

Two précis

  • These are one-page documents in which you summarize the main points of an article. The characteristics I’m looking for, as well as a description of what I want you to avoid, are nicely described here: [this is not an endorsement of this writing service; all the writing you submit in this class must be solely your work]
  • Due dates: [2018-09-17 Mon] and [2018-09-24 Mon]


  • Each member of the class will find some piece of reporting, image or short video [less than 4 minutes] of the Caribbean that connects with the themes we are studying. You’ll present it to the class in a 5-minute presentation [not counting video time]
  • Date: sign-up sheet (one per week, approximately)

GIS assignments

  • Depending on your level of GIS skill, during the GIS portion of the course you’ll complete 4 assignments that will build your skills at using maps, software, and data about world history.
  • We’ll mostly use QGIS, an open-source Geographic Information Systems program
  • We’ll also use ArcGIS On-line, a web-based interface
  • You’ll upload your completed work to Blackboard after class
  • Due dates: [2018-09-24 Mon] and [2018-10-01 Mon]

GIS project

  • To explore how historians can use GIS to illuminate the past, you will produce a map based on either Anthony Trollope’s West Indies or Richard Dana’s To Cuba and Back. Your map will be accompanied by a five-page paper analyzing the book and explaining your cartographic work. I’ll provide you with a detailed description of what I expect. We’ll spend a class day helping you troubleshoot this project.
  • Due date: [2018-12-10 Mon]

Class participation

  • I base this on two elements: your regular attendance and your oral/written participation in class, especially on our pre-announced discussion days.

Final essay

  • This will be a 10-page essay on the themes covered this semester in our reading.
  • Due date: [2018-12-07 Fri]

Important Policies:


At The University of Texas at Arlington, taking attendance is not required but attendance is a critical indicator in student success. Each faculty member is free to develop his or her own methods of evaluating students’ academic performance, which includes establishing course-specific policies on attendance. As the instructor of this section, I use your participation in Blackboard assignments to determine your attendance. However, while UT Arlington does not require instructors to take attendance in their courses, the U.S. Department of Education requires that the University have a mechanism in place to mark when Federal Student Aid recipients “begin attendance in a course.” UT Arlington instructors will report when students begin attendance in a course as part of the final grading process. Specifically, when assigning a student a grade of F, faculty report the last date a student attended their class based on evidence such as a test, participation in a class project or presentation, or an engagement on-line via Blackboard. This date is reported to the Department of Education for federal financial aid recipients.

Grading Policy:

At the end of the semester, students who have accumulated 900 or more
points will receive a “A”; 800 to 899 is a “B”; 700 to 799 is a “C”;
and 600 to 699 is “D”. Less than 600 points is a failing grade.

Assignment Points
Map quiz 100
Two précis 100
Show’N’Tell 50
GIS assignments 200
GIS project 200
Final essay 250
Class participation 100
TOTAL 1000

Drop Policy:

Students may drop or swap (adding and dropping a class concurrently) classes through self-service in MyMav from the beginning of the registration period through the late registration period. After the late registration period, students must see their academic advisor to drop a class or withdraw. Undeclared students must see an advisor in the University Advising Center. Drops can continue through a point two-thirds of the way through the term or session. It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw if they do not plan to attend after registering. Students will not be automatically dropped for non-attendance. Repayment of certain types of financial aid administered through the University may be required as the result of dropping classes or withdrawing. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (

Disability Accommodations:

UT Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of all federal equal opportunity legislation, including The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAAt), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All instructors at UT Arlington are required by law to provide “reasonable accommodations” to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of disability. Students are responsible for providing the instructor with official notification in the form of a letter certified by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). Only those students who have officially documented a need for an accommodation will have their request honored. Students experiencing a range of conditions (Physical, Learning, Chronic Health, Mental Health, and Sensory) that may cause diminished academic performance or other barriers to learning may seek services and/or accommodations by contacting: The Office for Students with Disabilities, (OSD) or calling 817-272-3364. Information regarding diagnostic criteria and policies for obtaining disability-based academic accommodations can be found at

Counseling and Psychological Services, (CAPS): or calling 817-272-3671 is also available to all students to help increase their understanding of personal issues, address mental and behavioral health problems and make positive changes in their lives.

Non-Discrimination Policy:

The University of Texas at Arlington does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, genetic information, and/or veteran status in its educational programs or activities it operates. For more information, visit

Title IX Policy:

The University of Texas at Arlington (“University”) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination based on sex in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act). Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination and will not be tolerated. For information regarding Title IX, visit or contact Ms. Michelle Willbanks, Title IX Coordinator at (817) 272-4585 or

Academic Integrity:

Students enrolled in all UT Arlington courses are expected to adhere to the UT Arlington Honor Code:

I pledge, on my honor, to uphold UT Arlington’s tradition of academic integrity, a tradition that values hard work and honest effort in the pursuit of academic excellence.

I promise that I will submit only work that I personally create or contribute to group collaborations, and I will appropriately reference any work from other sources. I will follow the highest standards of integrity and uphold the spirit of the Honor Code.

UT Arlington faculty members may employ the Honor Code in their courses by having students acknowledge the honor code as part of an examination or requiring students to incorporate the honor code into any work submitted. Per UT System Regents’ Rule 50101, §2.2, suspected violations of the University’s standards for academic integrity (including the Honor Code) will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Violators will be disciplined in accordance with University policy, which may result in the student’s suspension or expulsion from the University. Additional information is available at Faculty are encouraged to discuss plagiarism and share the following library tutorials and

Electronic Communication:

UT Arlington has adopted MavMail as its official means to communicate with students about important deadlines and events, as well as to transact university-related business regarding financial aid, tuition, grades, graduation, etc. All students are assigned a MavMail account and are responsible for checking the inbox regularly. There is no additional charge to students for using this account, which remains active even after graduation. Information about activating and using MavMail is available at

Campus Carry:

Effective August 1, 2016, the Campus Carry law (Senate Bill 11) allows those licensed individuals to carry a concealed handgun in buildings on public university campuses, except in locations the University establishes as prohibited. Under the new law, openly carrying handguns is not allowed on college campuses. For more information, visit

Student Feedback Survey:

At the end of each term, students enrolled in face-to-face and on-line classes categorized as “lecture,” “seminar,” or “laboratory” are directed to complete an on-line Student Feedback Survey (SFS). Instructions on how to access the SFS for this course will be sent directly to each student through MavMail approximately 10 days before the end of the term. Each student’s feedback via the SFS database is aggregated with that of other students enrolled in the course. Students’ anonymity will be protected to the extent that the law allows. UT Arlington’s effort to solicit, gather, tabulate, and publish student feedback is required by state law and aggregate results are posted on-line. Data from SFS is also used for faculty and program evaluations. For more information, visit

Final Review Week:

For semester-long courses, a period of five class days prior to the first day of final examinations in the long sessions shall be designated as Final Review Week. The purpose of this week is to allow students sufficient time to prepare for final examinations. During this week, there shall be no scheduled activities such as required field trips or performances; and no instructor shall assign any themes, research problems or exercises of similar scope that have a completion date during or following this week unless specified in the class syllabus. During Final Review Week, an instructor shall not give any examinations constituting 10% or more of the final grade, except makeup tests and laboratory examinations. In addition, no instructor shall give any portion of the final examination during Final Review Week. During this week, classes are held as scheduled. In addition, instructors are not required to limit content to topics that have been previously covered; they may introduce new concepts as appropriate.

Student Support Services:

UT Arlington provides a variety of resources and programs designed to help students develop academic skills, deal with personal situations, and better understand concepts and information related to their courses. Resources include tutoring, major-based learning centers, developmental education, advising and mentoring, personal counseling, and federally funded programs. For individualized referrals, students may visit the reception desk at University College (Ransom Hall), call the Maverick Resource Hotline at 817-272-6107, send a message to, or view the information at

The IDEAS Center (2nd Floor of Central Library)

offers FREE tutoring to all students with a focus on transfer students, sophomores, veterans and others undergoing a transition to UT Arlington. Students can drop in, or check the schedule of available peer tutors at, or call (817) 272-6593.

The English Writing Center (411LIBR):

The Writing Center offers FREE tutoring in 15-, 30-, 45-, and 60-minute face-to-face and on-line sessions to all UTA students on any phase of their UTA coursework. Register and make appointments on-line at Classroom visits, workshops, and specialized services for graduate students and faculty are also available. Please see for detailed information on all our programs and services.

The Library’s 2nd floor Academic Plaza

offers students a central hub of support services, including IDEAS Center, University Advising Services, Transfer UTA and various college/school advising hours. Services are available during the library’s hours of operation.

The History Librarian is Andy Herzog

You can contact him at or 817-272-7517


Week 0: Preparing

  • [2018-08-20 Mon]
  • Zotero: View the “Getting Started with Zotero: Using Zotero Standalone” tutorial on YouTube
    • Install Zotero as the tutorial describes
    • Find two more YouTube Zotero tutorials that look interesting and watch them. Take notes to share with the class
    • You may want to bookmark this link:
  • Homework for week 1: Read Gibson, chapters 1 and 2; and articles by Norton; Mintz; Faithfull

Week 1: Before 1492 : Tainos, Africans, Europeans

  • [2018-08-27 Mon] Geography; Native Peoples of the Caribbean
    • Show’N’Tell [by Dr. G.]
    • Discuss reading
    • Discuss primary sources
    • Presentation on Africa and the slave trade
  • Homework for week 2: Read Wheat, prepare for map quiz

Week 2: UTA closed for Labor Day

  • No class meeting on [2018-09-03 Mon]
  • Optional: use this week to work ahead on the reading; I recommend you read the assigned chapters in the Gibson book for the entire semester
  • Optional: learn a little about GIS before we start our class work by completing this easy tutorial about Google Maps:

Week 3: The Spanish in the Caribbean

  • [2018-09-10 Mon]
    • Map quiz
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Wheat
    • Discuss primary sources
  • Homework for week 4:
    • Read Gibson chapters 3, 4, and 5
    • Read articles/chapters by Higman, Cheney, Cheney, Burnard, and Roberts
    • Write a précis of the Higman article, due on [2018-09-17 Mon]

Week 4: The Sugar Revolution; Higman précis due

  • [2018-09-17 Mon]
    • Presentation on sugar
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss the articles
    • Review how to install a recent version of QGIS on your laptop
  • Homework for Week 5: [there’s no reading]
    • Write a précis of the Mintz article we read in Week 0; due [2018-09-24 Mon]
    • Install QGIS on a computer that you can bring to class
    • New-to-GIS students:
      • complete the “Installation and Adding Layers” tutorial in the Mapping and GIS area of The Programming Historian
      • complete the “Creating New Vector Layers” tutorial in The Programming Historian
    • Experienced students: Complete the QGIS tutorials 1, 2, and 3 [including the “one step further” sections] in the Mapping and GIS for Historians tutorial page

Week 5: GIS week 1; Mintz précis due

  • [2018-09-24 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Reinforce skills you learned in “Adding Layers”
      • Learn how to find and import various shapefiles constructing the map of a Caribbean island
      • Manipulate and categorize the attribute tables that underly those shapefiles
      • Import a raster file containing a previously georeferenced historical map
      • We’ll also work with new geographic versions of this Caribbean island tutorial
    • Reinforce skills you learned in “Adding Vector Layers”
      • Import two previously georeferenced maps of Louisiana
      • Create several new vector [data] layers based on data that you input from these two rasters, recording vanished towns, roads
    • Upload your finished work to Blackboard affer class
  • Homework for week 6
    • new-to-GIS students complete the 3rd and 4th tutorials in the Mapping and GIS area of The Programming Historian
    • experienced GIS students, complete QGIS tutorials 4, 5, 6, and 7 including the “one step further” section] in the Mapping and GIS for Historians tutorial page

Week 6: GIS week 2

  • [2018-10-01 Mon]
    • Have a Show’N’Tell
    • Reinforce skills you learned in the third and fourth on-line tutorials
      • Import and georeference an historical map of Texas
      • Work through the new versions of this tutorial drafted by experienced students
    • Learn how to import historical data into QGIS and connect it to spatial data
    • Upload your finished work to Blackboard after class
  • Homework for week 7: Back to our books! Read Brown, Reaper’s Garden and Gibson, Chapter 5

Week 7: Life and Death on a Sugar Plantation

  • [2018-10-08 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Brown
    • Discuss primary sources
    • Presentation: Overview of the Haitian Revolution
  • Homework: For week 8 read Popkin, You Are All Free and Gibson, Chapter 7

Week 8: The Haitian Revolution

  • [2018-10-15 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Popkin
    • Discuss primary sources
  • Homework: For week 9 read Ferrer, Freedom’s Mirror

Week 9: The Impact of the Haitian Revolution

  • [2018-10-22 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Ferrer
    • Discuss primary sources
  • Homework for week 10
    • Download and read Prince History of Mary Prince
    • Download and read Trollop The West Indies pp 1-222

Week 10: British Anti-Slavery and Colonies After Slavery

  • [2018-10-29 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Mary Prince
    • Discuss Trollope
  • Homework for week 11: Download and read 24-280 of Dana, To Cuba and Back

Week 11: The Cuban Paradox

  • [2018-11-05 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Dana
  • Homework for week 12:
    • Download files for GIS project
    • Complete GIS work outlined in handout

Week 12: GIS Project Day

  • [2018-11-12 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss GIS Project: approaches and issues
    • Work on GIS project in class: troubleshooting and discussion
  • Homework for week 13:
    • read Gibson, Chapter 8
    • read Dubois, Aftershocks of History

Week 13: The “Independent” Caribbean:

  • [2018-11-19 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Dubois
    • Primary sources
  • Homework for week 14:
    • read Gibson, Chapter 9
    • read Putnam, Radical Moves

Week 14: Empire, Migration, and Racism

  • [2018-11-26 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Putnam
    • Primary sources
  • Homework for week 15:
    • read Gibson, Chapters 10 and 11
    • read Pérez, Structure of Cuban History

Week 15: Nation and Culture in a Caribbean Context

  • [2018-12-03 Mon]
    • Show’N’Tell
    • Discuss Pérez
    • Primary sources
  • Homework for week 15: complete draft of GIS project
    • Final project due on Blackboard by [2018-12-07 Fri]
    • GIS project due on Blackboard by [2018-12-10 Mon]

As the instructor for this course, I reserve the right to adjust this schedule in any way that serves the educational needs of the students enrolled in this course – John Garrigus

Emergency Phone Numbers:

In case of an on-campus emergency, call the UT Arlington Police Department at 817-272-3003 (non-campus phone), 2-3003 (campus phone). You may also dial 911. Non-emergency number 817-272-3381In case of an on-campus emergency, call the UT Arlington Police Department at 817-272-3003 (non-campus phone), 2-3003 (campus phone). You may also dial 911. The non-emergency number is 817-272-3381.