Wed 7pm-9:50pm; University Hall, Room 16

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: Wednesday and Thursday, 2:00 to 4:00pm; please 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 this is the place where you submit all papers electronically
  6. Website:


The identity question is especially important in the French Atlantic. European empires dominated the Atlantic basin in the eighteenth century but the American and French Revolutions transformed this situation, helping the nation-state replace these New World empires. However only one independent nation-state – Haiti – emerged in the French Atlantic. The fate of French-speaking people in the New World after France lost its American empire in the early 1800s is NOT a major focus of the reading but it is a subject for class presentations and discussions.

Learning Outcomes:

After successfully completing this class, students will be able to:

  1. describe and evaluate the concept of “The French Atlantic”.
  2. describe and evaluate the central issues in the recent historiography of this field.
  3. produce critical appraisals of course readings, orally and in writing.

Required Books:

  1. Shannon Lee Dawdy, Building the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).
  2. Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004).
  3. Robert W. Harms and Robert Harms, The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the Slave Trade (New York: Basic Books, 2003).
  4. Christopher Hodson, The Acadian Diaspora: An Eighteenth-Century History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  5. Christopher L. Miller, The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008).
  6. Jeremy D. Popkin, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  7. Brett Rushforth, Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).
  8. Sophie White, Wild Frenchmen and Frenchified Indians: Material Culture and Race in Colonial Louisiana (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).


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
1 precis 20
Class participation 130
Presentation 100
10 discussion board postings 100
3 reaction papers of 300 words 300
Final essay of 3,000 words 350
TOTAL 1000

Major Assignments with Dates

One precis


  • Due date: sign-up sheet (one or two per week)
  • Graded on whether your presentation: engages the audience, connects to course themes, shows evidence of critical thinking
  • Your choice of the following:
    1. Author introduction: At the meeting before we start a new book, one student will make a presentation about the upcoming author. This should be a kind of intellectual biography, which I will grade on your research and presentation skills. What articles and books has she published? When and where did he attend graduate school? Which scholars or ideas have most influenced her? What special tools or perspectives does he generally bring to hiswork? I’m happy to give you pointers if you have trouble finding material.
    2. Historiography review: You’ll present an outside book (must be cleared with me first) on one of our main class topics: religion, slavery, trade, urban life, identity, or revolution in New World empires. Ideally this would be a book about the British, Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch Atlantic.
    3. Historical map presentation: (only open to those who are taking or have taken Dr. Demhardt’s Introduction to Historical Cartography). You’ll make a presentation analyzing an historical map from the periods and regions we are studying.
    4. Show-N-Tell: You will find some piece of contemporary news reporting, video, on-line primary source document, or image that sheds light on the idea of the “French Atlantic”. You will present it to the class with a critical analysis of the author(s), his or her perspective, when and why it was created, the context and the connection between claims and evidence.

Three reaction papers

  • Due via Blackboard upload after class before 11:59pm
  • Due dates: Wed 9-24 (Rushforth); 10-29 (Hodson); 11-12 (Popkin)
  • A reaction paper is at least 300 words long but it may be longer. In it you describe the thesis of the book and, as specifically and thoughtfully as you can, how it affected your understanding of the French Atlantic.

Class participation

Attendence and participation in our class discussions are important
parts of this colloquium. I take attendance and make notes on your
participation at every class meeting. I’m not grading you on your
brilliance but on your willingness to explore new ideas and offer
feedback to your classmates.

Discussion board:

I expect you to post comments on our BlackBoard discussion board every
week [weeks 3 through 13] by 5pm Wednesday, the day of our class. You should note what were the “fuzziest” points in the reading for you and also post two or three discussion questions about the reading. You should also read and respond to the postings by other members of the class. I’ll assign a grade to these comments and they will form the basis for our in-class discussions.

Final essay

  • At the end of this semester you’ll turn in an interpretive essay of about 3,000 words, roughly 10 pages, using our readings and discussions to answer the question – What is [or was] the “French Atlantic”? Is it a useful concept? Why or why not? How would you define or describe it?
  • Due date: 12-10 Wed

Important Policies

Academic Integrity:

All students enrolled in this course are expected to adhere to the UT Arlington Honor Code, which must be included in every substantial writing assignment in this class.

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.

Instructors 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 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.


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 record attendance weekly and factor it into your class participation grade.

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:

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

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:

The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student
success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve
academic success. These programs include learning assistance,
developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and
transition, and federally funded programs. For individualized referrals to resources for any reason, students may contact the Maverick Resource hot-line at 817-272-6107 or visit for more information.

Electronic Communication Policy:

The University of Texas at Arlington has adopted the University “MavMail” address as the sole official means of communication with students. MavMail is used to remind students of important deadlines, advertise events and activities, and permit the University to conduct official transactions exclusively by electronic means. For example, important information concerning registration, financial aid, payment of bills, and graduation are now sent to students through the MavMail system. All students are assigned a MavMail account. Students are responsible for checking their MavMail regularly. Information about activating and using MavMail is available at There is no additional charge to students for using this account and it remains active even after they graduate from UT Arlington.

Grade Grievance Policy:

Students should meet in person with the instructor to discuss any concerns about their grade.

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: 2014-08-27 Wed What is Atlantic History?

  • Before class read Bailyn, Contours, pp. 59-111

Week 2: 2014-09-03 Wed What is the French Atlantic?

  • Read Dubois, “French Atlantic,” from Greene and Morgan, eds., Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal (2009), 137-161
  • Read Miller, “Introduction,” from French Atlantic Triangle pp. 3-39
  • Read Seed, “Introduction” and Ch2 from Ceremonies of Possession: Europe’s Conquest of the New World, 1492-1640 (1995), 1-15 and 41-68
  • Read Vidal, “Reluctance”, The Southern Quarterly (2006), 153-189.
  • Precis on one of the four readings due by 5pm before class

Week 3: 2014-09-10 Wed Jesuits and Indians

  • Read Greer [272 pp]
  • Post to discussion board
  • 2014-09-20 Sat Professor Jeremy Popkin, one of the authors we’ll be reading, will be speaking at the 15th annual International Graduate Student Conference on Transatlantic history. I highly recommend you attend his talk if at all possible. See for details.

Week 4: 2014-09-17 Wed Frenchmen, Indians and Slaves, pt. 1

  • Read Miller 40-61
  • Read Rushforth, pp. 1-192
  • Post to discussion board

Week 5: 2014-09-24 Wed Frenchmen, Indians and Slaves, pt. 2

  • Read Rushforth pp. 193-382
  • Reaction paper due before 11:59pm
  • Post to discussion board

Week 6: 2014-10-01 Wed Frenchmen, Africans and Slaves, pt. 1

  • Read Harms, pp. xi-196
  • Post to discussion board

Week 7: 2014-10-08 Wed Frenchmen, Africans and Slaves, pt. 2

  • Read Harms, pp. 197-408
  • Post to discussion board

Week 8: 2014-10-15 Wed New Orleans

  • Read Dawdy, xiii-246
  • Post to discussion board

Week 9: 2014-10-22 Wed Frenchmen or Others?

  • Read White 1-232
  • Post to discussion board

Week 10: 2014-10-29 Wed Frenchmen and Acadians

  • Read Hodson 1-212
  • Reaction paper due before 11:59pm
  • Post to discussion board

Week 11: 2014-11-05 Wed The Haitian Revolution, pt. 1

  • Read Blackburn, “Haitians Claim the Rights of Man” pp. 173-219 in Blackburn, The American Crucible (2011)
  • Read Popkin, pp. 1-188
  • Post to discussion board

Week 12: 2014-11-12 Wed The Haitian Revolution, pt. 2

  • Read Popkin, pp. 189-396
  • Reaction paper due before 11:59pm
  • Post to discussion board

Week 13: 2014-11-19 Wed The French Atlantic Remembered, pt. 1

  • Read Miller, pp. 62-175

No class on 2014-11-26 Wed

Week 14: 2014-12-03 Wed The French Atlantic Remembered, pt. 2

  • Read Miller, pp. 179-400

Final Project due on Blackboard on 2014-12-10 Wed by 11:59 pm

All procedures and policies in this course are subject to change in the event of unforeseen circumstances.