HIST 3378-001 & AAST 3378-001
Spring 2022; Tues-Thurs 3:30PM – 4:50PM
University Hall 09

Instructor Information

  1. Instructor: John Garrigus; website: https://johngarrigus.com
  2. Office: University Hall 343
  3. Student Office Hours: 5pm to 5:30pm Tuesday; 5pm to 7pm Thurs
  4. History Department Office Telephone: 817-272-2661
  5. Email: garrigus@uta.edu
  6. Faculty Profile: https://mentis.uta.edu/explore/profile/john-garrigus

Course Information

Section Information: HIST3378-001 and AAS3378-001
Time and Place of Class Meetings:  Because of COVID, before Feb. 8, we will meet as an asynchronous class on Canvas; beginning on Tuesday Feb. 8, we’ll meet Tues and Thurs. 3:30pm to 4:50; University Hall 09.

Required Books (2): Marcus Rediker, Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age (Beacon Press, 2005), $13 to rent; and Philippe R. Girard, Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life (New York: Basic Books, 2016), $12 to rent. Other materials will be available on Canvas.

Technology Requirements: We will use Canvas throughout the semester.

Description of Course Content: This course examines how people experienced oppression and freedom in the Caribbean islands in the years 1600 to 1804. Piracy and sugar plantation slavery are two of our major topics; the third major topic is the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), the only slave uprising to end slavery and establish a new independent nation.

In addition, the course will train you in how to interpret primary and secondary sources, skills that are the foundation of historical knowledge. Because pirates and enslaved people (mostly) did not leave written documents, this is a special challenge for our topic!

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify major Caribbean countries on a map. To be assessed on a map quiz.
  • Students will be able to describe and analyze primary sources. To be assessed in three assigned papers.
  • Students will be able to describe secondary sources. To be assessed in three assigned papers.
  • Students will be able to describe historical thinking skills and apply them to Caribbean history. To be assessed in three assigned papers.

Major Assignments and Grading

Assignment Points Description
Map quiz 50 On a blank map, you’ll identify 10 Caribbean islands or countries, and the colonial language spoken there today. We’ll do this face-to-face in class in mid-February.
10 weekly journal questions 100 For 14 weeks this semester, I’ll post a reflection question about a primary source.  You’ll answer 10 of them over the semester. This should be an easy A! I’ll award 10 points for an answer that shows that you did the reading, and 5 points for one that does not show this.
Book quizzes 100 Using Canvas, we’ll have multiple-choice quizzes over each of our two books plus some assigned chapters; you can take each quiz 2 times and only the highest score counts.
Discussion/participation 100 I’ll assess this on discussion boards during the first 3 weeks of the semester, then I’ll take daily notes on your presence and face to face discussion in the classroom.
2 Writing Center visits 50 About a week before each of our papers, you’ll visit the UTA Writing Center on-line or in the Central Library to go over a draft of your work. When I get confirmation from the Writing Center, I’ll give you the points. Make an appointment at https://www.uta.edu/owl/. Be sure to take them a copy of the assignment.
2 papers 300 You’ll write a 5-page paper based on primary and secondary sources about pirates and, following the same framework, about planters.
Final paper 300 At the end of the semester, you’ll write a third paper about Caribbean freedom fighters and then merge it with revised versions of your two earlier papers for the final paper.
TOTAL 1000 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”; etc.


Course Schedule


Week 1: January 18-20

Lectures: Introduction to Caribbean history and geography; native civilizations; Spanish colonization; how to analyze a primary source; big questions in Caribbean history
Reading: Rediker, Chapters 1 and 2
Assignments: Journal answer; book quiz

Week 2: January 25-27

Lectures: Silver and world history; the beginnings of piracy; navies and the rise of gunpowder states; imperial struggles; how to summarize a primary source; how to contextualize
Reading: Rediker, Chapters 3 and 4
Assignments: Journal answer; book quiz

Week 3: February 1-3

Lectures: pirates versus privateers; pirates and indentured servants;  pirates versus buccaneers; how to infer from a primary source; how to “monitor” a primary source
Reading: Rediker, Chapters 5 and 6
Assignments: Journal answer; book quiz

Week 4: February 8-10

Lectures: Morgan and Jamaica; The French version of “Santo Domingo”; piracy’s golden age; pirates and enslaved people; primary sources and corroboration
Assignments: Journal answer; book quiz
Reading: Rediker, Chapters 7 and 8

Week 5: February 15-17

Lectures: Piracy as a culture; piracy and world history; piracy and the public imagination; the end of Caribbean piracy

Assignments:  Writing Center assignment due Wednesday, Feb. 16, paper due on Canvas Friday Feb. 18


Week 6: February 22-24

Lectures: How to grow sugar; the “integrated” plantation; Caribbean slavery versus other slavery systems; slavery and/in archives
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz; map quiz (Feb. 22)
Brown, “Worlds of Wealth and Death” pp13-59

Week 7: March 1-3

Lectures: the slave trade; sugar and the European economy; growing coffee and other crops; maroons
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz
Reading: Burnard, “The Sexual Life of an Eighteenth-Century Jamaican Slave Overseer,” 163–89.

Week 8: March 8-10

Lectures: manumission; slavery and the law; overseers, drivers, and absentee planters; free people of color
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz
Reading: Cheney, “Husband and Wife,” 130–60.

Week 9: March 15-17 SPRING BREAK

Week 10: March 22-24

Lectures: religion and culture in Caribbean slave societies; men, women, and children; war and trade
Reading: Garrigus, 3 Mythic Macandals; Médor’s Town and Country; Médor’s Medicines
Assignments: Writing Center report due; journal answer; reading quiz

Week 11: March 29-31

Lectures: slave resistance and slave rebellion
Assignments: Paper due on Canvas Friday April 1

Freedom Fighters

Week 12: April 5-7

Lectures: Saint-Domingue and the American Revolution; free people of color in Saint-Domingue; Saint-Domingue and the French Revolution
Reading: Girard, Introduction, Chapters 1-4
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz

Week 13: April 12-14

Lectures: Haitian Revolution: an overview; Vincent Ogé and Julian Raimond; the uprising of 1791
Reading: Girard, Chapters 5-10
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz

Week 14: April 19-22

Lectures: The end of slavery in Saint-Domingue; the rise of Toussaint Louverture; Toussaint’s plantation society; Napoleon and Saint-Domingue
Reading: Girard, Chapters 11-15
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz

Week 15: April 26-28

Lectures: The rise of Jean-Jacques Dessalines; the invasion of 1802; Haitian independence
Reading: Girard, Chapters 16-21
Assignments: Journal answer; reading quiz

Week 16: May 3

Lectures: Final paper in-class Q&A and work session
Assignment: Journal answer


As instructor, I reserve the right to change the course schedule and policies in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Institutional Information

UTA students are encouraged to review the below institutional policies and informational sections and reach out to the specific office with any questions. To view this institutional information, please visit the Institutional Information page (https://resources.uta.edu/provost/course-related-info/institutional-policies.php) which includes the following policies among others:

  • Drop Policy
  • Disability Accommodations
  • Title IX Policy
  • Academic Integrity
  • Student Feedback Survey
  • Final Exam Schedule


Face Covering Policy

While the use of face coverings on campus is no longer mandatory, all students and instructional staff are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while they are on campus. This is particularly true inside buildings and within classrooms and labs where social distancing is not possible due to limited space. If a student needs accommodations to ensure social distancing in the classroom due to being at high risk, they are encouraged to work directly with the Student Access and Resource Center to assist in these accommodations. If students need masks, they may obtain them at the Central Library, the E.H. Hereford University Center’s front desk or in their department.


At The University of Texas at Arlington, taking attendance is not required. Rather, 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 course, I use the quizzes and discussion assignments to gauge your active involvement in the class, but I do not have a separate attendance grade.

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 verify Federal Student Aid recipients’ attendance in courses. UT Arlington instructors should be prepared to report the last date of attendance as part of the final grading process. Specifically, when assigning a student a grade of F, faculty must report the last date a student attended their class based on evidence of academic engagement such as a test, participation in a class project or presentation, or an engagement online via Canvas. This date is reported to the Department of Education for federal financial aid recipients.

Distance education courses require regular and substantive online interaction and participation. Students must participate in online course activities to demonstrate attendance; logging into an online class is not sufficient by itself to demonstrate attendance.

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 as they see fit in their courses, including (but not limited to) 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 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 https://www.uta.edu/conduct/.

Emergency Exit Procedures

Should we experience an emergency event that requires evacuation of the building, students should exit the room and move toward the nearest exit, which is located to the left as you leave UH09. When exiting the building during an emergency, do not take an elevator but use the stairwells instead. Faculty members and instructional staff will assist students in selecting the safest route for evacuation and will make arrangements to assist individuals with disabilities.

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center (ASC) includes a variety of resources and services to help you maximize your learning and succeed as a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. ASC services include supplemental instruction, peer-led team learning, tutoring, mentoring and TRIO SSS. Academic Success Center services are provided at no additional cost to UTA students. For additional information visit: Academic Success Center. To request disability accommodations for tutoring, please complete this form.

The English Writing Center (411 in the Central Library)

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

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. The non-emergency number is 817-272-3381.