MWF 10-10:50am; University Hall, Room 08

How to contact Professor Garrigus:

  1. Email:, but please use the BlackBoard email when possible.
  2. Office: University Hall 201b; [Note that this is on the 2nd floor]
  3. Office Hours: 11am to noon Mondays; 2 to 3pm Wednesdays; 1 to 2pm Fridays; please make make an appointment with me if these times are not convenient.
  4. Office Phone: 817-272-2869
  5. BlackBoard:; you will find all class handouts here and submit all projects electronically
  6. Website:


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.

But 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 construct reasonable interpretations of primary documents, books, and films about Caribbean history. This will be assessed in class discussions, and eight book quizzes.
  3. 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 four short country reports.
  4. Students will describe the connection between Caribbean history and the processes of globalization.. This will be assessed in the final project.


This course is designed so that you can succeed whether or not you have never studied the history of the Caribbean or Latin America before.

Required Books:

  1. Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN: 9780374527075
  2. Trevor Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World. University of North Carolina Press, 2003. ISBN: 0807855251
  3. Jeremy Popkin, A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. ISBN: 978405198219
  4. Karen McCarthy Brown, Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn. University of Califobnia Press, 2001. ISBN: 0520224752
  5. Aviva Chomsky, A History of the Cuba Revolution Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. ISBN: 978405187732

Description of Major Assignments with Dates

Map quiz

  • Date: 01-26 Mon
  • I’ll pick ten countries on a blank map of the Caribbean and ask you to identify each of them, together with the main European language spoken there.

Eight book quizzes

  • Dates: 01-30 Fri; 02-06 Fri; 02-13 Fri; 02-20 Fri; 02-27 Fri; 04-03 Fri; 04-17 Fri; 05-01 Fri; 05-08 Fri
  • For each of our books you will find a study guide on Blackboard, with four to nine discussion questions and a list of important terms. Eight times during the semester [see schedule] we’ll have a 30-minute quiz on the book, consisting of four multiple choice questions on the terms and an essay on one of the discussion questions. You may drop the lowest quiz score.
  • On 1-30 Fri you will take the quiz on Blackboard. It will be heavily based on the Book Guide, with multiple-choice questions of the vocabulary and 1 essay question selected from those listed in the Book Guide.

Four country project assignments

  • You’ll choose a Caribbean country to study over the course of the semester. Over the course of the semester you’ll submit four five-page papers on pre-assigned aspects of the history and culture of that country.
  • Dates: 02-23 Mon; 03-20 Fri; 04-24 Fri; 05-04 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 project

  • Date: 05-11 Mon
  • At the end of the semester you’ll use a template I provide to combine your four country project assignments into a single project on the country you picked.

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
Eight quizzes 400
Four country projects 200
Final Project 200
Class participation 100
TOTAL 1000

Attendance Policy:

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 section, I take attendance every day. Students are allowed only four absences. Starting with the fifth absence a student will lose 30 points from the final grade for each subsequent absence.

Academic Integrity:

All students enrolled in this course 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.

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. Contact the Financial Aid Office for
more information.

Americans With Disabilities Act:

The University of Texas at 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). 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 that disability. Any student requiring an
accommodation for this course must provide the instructor with
official documentation in the form of a letter certified by the staff
in the Office for Students with Disabilities, University
Hall 102. Only those students who have officially documented a need
for an accommodation will have their request honored. Information
regarding diagnostic criteria and policies for obtaining
disability-based academic accommodations can be found at or by calling the Office for Students with
Disabilities at (817) 272-3364.

Title IX:

The University of Texas at Arlington is committed to upholding U.S. Federal Law “Title IX” such that no member of the UT Arlington community shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity. For more information, visit

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 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

Electronic Communication Policy:

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

Student Feedback Survey:

At the end of each term, students enrolled in classes categorized as “lecture,” “seminar,” or “laboratory” shall be directed to complete an online 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 enters the SFS database anonymously and is aggregated with that of other students enrolled in the course. UT Arlington’s effort to solicit, gather, tabulate, and publish student feedback is required by state law; students are strongly urged to participate. For more information, visit

Final Review Week:

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.

Emergency Exit Procedures:

Should we experience an emergency event that requires us to vacate the building, students should exit the room and move toward the nearest exit, which is located just outside our classroom door. When exiting the building during an emergency, one should never take an elevator but should use the stairwells. Faculty members and instructional staff will assist students in selecting the safest route for evacuation and will make arrangements to assist handicapped individuals.


Week 1: Beginnings

  • 2015-01-21 Wed What’s in a Name?
  • 2015-01-23 Fri Native Peoples of the Caribbean

Week 2: Caribbean Slavery in Context, part 1

  • 2015-01-26 Mon Columbus and the Origins of Caribbean Slavery; map quiz
  • 2015-01-28 Wed Guest Speaker: Trevor Burnard
  • 2015-01-30 Fri No class; on-line quiz on Jamaica Kincaid;

Week 3: Caribbean Plantation Slavery, part 2

  • 2015-02-02 Mon The Barbadian Sugar Revolution; How to Make Sugar
  • 2015-02-04 Wed Pirates of the Caribbean
  • 2015-02-06 Fri Quiz on Burnard, pp 1-101/ discussion of Burnard

Week 4: Caribbean Plantation Slavery, part 3

  • 2015-02-09 Mon Africa and the Slave Trade
  • 2015-02-11 Wed Slavery, Industrialization and Resistance in the Greater Antilles
  • 2015-02-13 Fri Quiz on Burnard; pp 137-174; 209-271/ discussion of Burnard

Week 5: The Haitian Revolution, part 1

  • 2015-02-16 Mon Overview of The French and Haitian Revolutions (1789-1804)
  • 2015-02-18 Wed Civil War in Saint-Domingue; Slave Uprising and Emancipation
  • 2015-02-20 Fri Quiz on Popkin pp 1-89/ discussion of Popkin

Week 6: The Haitian Revolution, part 2

  • 2015-02-23 Mon Plantation Uprising; What did Toussaint Louverture stand for?; first country project due on Blackboard by 11:59pm
  • 2015-02-25 Wed Free “Black” Haiti / The Impact of Haitian Freedom
  • 2015-02-27 Fri Quiz on Popkin, pp. 90-170/ discussion of Popkin

Week 7: End of Slavery in British Territories

  • 2015-03-02 Mon Britain Abolishes the Slave Trade
  • 2015-03-04 Wed The End of British Plantation Slavery
  • 2015-03-06 Fri Jamaica’s Morant Bay Rebellion

Spring Break

Week 8: Slavery Continues

  • 2015-03-16 Mon; Asian Sugar Workers in the Caribbean
  • 2015-03-18 Wed The Rise of Cuban Sugar
  • 2015-03-20 Fri Cuban Sugar Workers; second country project due on Blackboard, 11:59pm

Week 9: The Spanish Caribbean and the USA

  • 2015-03-23 Mon End of Slavery in the French and Spanish Caribbean
  • 2015-03-25 Wed Sugar Shack Alley (Martinique, 1983)
  • 2015-03-27 Fri Cuba and the “Spanish-American” War

Week 10: Life After Slavery

  • 2015-03-30 Mon US Imperialism and the Caribbean
  • 2015-04-01 Wed Trujillo: Dictator of the Dominican Republic
  • 2015-04-03 Fri Quiz on Brown, Chapter 1-6/ discussion of Brown

Week 11: The 1920s-1940s

  • 2015-04-06 Mon Caribbean Migrants in the 1920s
  • 2015-04-08 Wed The Great Depression in the Caribbean;
  • 2015-04-10 Fri AfroCubanismo, Négritude and Marcus Garvey

Week 12: The “Independent” Caribbean

  • 2015-04-13 Mon World War II and Decolonization; Fidel Castro and his Revolution
  • 2015-04-15 Wed Fidel and the Cold War in the Caribbean
  • 2015-04-17 Fri Quiz on Brown, Chapters 7-12/ discussion of Brown

Week 13: Nation and Culture in the Caribbean

  • 2015-04-20 Mon Rastafarianism
  • 2015-04-22 Wed The Harder They Come(Jamaica, 1972)
  • 2015-04-24 Fri The Harder They Come, continued Third country project due on Blackboard, 11:59pm

Week 14: Cold War and Neocolonialism

  • 2015-04-27 Mon Cold War in the Caribbean, part 2; Life and Debt (US, 2001)
  • 2015-04-29 Wed Life and Debt (US, 2001)
  • 2015-05-01 Fri Quiz on Chomsky, pp. 1-105/ discussion of Chomsky

Week 15: After the Cold War

  • 2015-05-04 Mon Cold War in the Caribbean, part 3; fourth country project due by 11:59pm
  • 2015-05-06 Wed Cuba’s “Special Period”
  • 2015-05-08 Fri Quiz on Chomsky, pp106-195/ discussion of Chomsky

Final Project

  • 2015 05-11 Mon Final project due on Blackboard by 11 am.

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 D. Garrigus.