Wednesdays, 7:00-9:50pm; University Hall, Room 321

Table of Contents

Important Information


This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the broad outlines of transatlantic history and historiography from roughly 1500 to 2010. We will read some of the classic texts associated with these fields, as well as current research and historiographical debates. This is not a pre-requisite for the Department’s courses in transatlantic history, but it is designed to help graduate students make the bridge to these more specialized colloquia. At the same time, Introduction to Transatlantic History is a stand-alone class that will be interesting for anyone looking to deepen his or her knowledge of how the histories of Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean intersect.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to discuss key works in the field of transatlantic history. This will be assessed in class discussions and presentations.
  2. Students will be able to describe the major theses, structure, and sources of key works in the field of transatlantic history. This will be assessed in eight response papers.
  3. Students will be able to identify an under-studied topic in transatlantic history, and develop a research proposal to fill this gap in the literature.

Required Books:

  1. Bailyn, Bernard. Atlantic History: Concept and Contours. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005. 0674016882
  2. Blower, Brooke Lindy. Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between the World Wars. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. 0199927588
  3. Carney, Judith A., and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff. In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World. University of California Press, 2010. 0520257502
  4. Donoghue, John. Fire Under the Ashes: An Atlantic History of the English Revolution. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2013. 9780226157658
  5. Nolan, Mary. The Transatlantic Century: Europe and America, 1890-2010. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 9780521871679 0521871670 9780521692212 0521692210
  6. Norton, Marcy. Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008. 978-0-8014-7632-7
  7. Putnam, Lara. Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. 0807872857
  8. Rodgers, Daniel T. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998. 0674051319
  9. Scott, Rebecca J., and Jean M. Hébrard. Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. 0674047745
  10. Sweet, James. Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. 9780807834497
  11. Weaver, Jace. The Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World, 1000-1927. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014. 9781469614380 1469614383 9781469614397 1469614391

Required Articles

  • Morgan, Philip, and Jack P. Greene. “Introduction: The Current State of Atlantic History.” In Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal, edited by Jack Greene and Philip D. Morgan, 3-33. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Zimmer, Kenyon. “Transatlantic History: Naming and Locating an Emergent Field of Study.” Traversea 3 (2013): 77–86.


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.

Assignment Points
Eight reaction papers 400
One-page synopsis 50
Presentation 50
Discussion/participation 250
Research presentation 50
Research proposal 200
TOTAL 1000

Description of Major Assignments

Eight two-page reaction papers

You’ll write two-page reaction papers on eight of the eleven books we’re reading. Each of these reaction papers should analyze, critically, the book’s thesis, arguments, and sources. It should also describe how the book is related to other readings in the course. You will submit the papers on Blackboard before class and I will ask you to talk about your paper at the beginning of class.

Oral presentation on one of our authors

  • We have 11 slots for in-class presentations and 7 slots for screencasts
  • Both types of presentations have the same time limit [6 minutes or less] and goal: to present a succinct intellectual biography of that week’s author and the reception of the book we are discussing. You are encouraged to use PowerPoint or someother presentation software.
  • A screencast is essentially a narrated slide show that can be seen on the Internet.
  • There are a number of free services that allow you to combine still or moving images with recorded audio. I recommend you use one of the following browser-based services:
  • The screencast should be no longer than 6 minutes. I will post it on the class Blackboard site.


Classroom participation is a big part of this course! Simply attending class does not count in this area, though I do take attendance at every class meeting.

Synopsis: due 2015-10-21 Wed

This will consist of at least one page describing the paper as you imagine it. What is the topic? What research questions remain unanswered? What theories or approaches would you use to answer those questions? What do you think you might find? The synopsis should contain a preliminary list of sources including major secondary sources, any published primary sources and any archival sources you have found at this early stage.

Oral presentation: due 2015-12-09 Wed

This will be a five-minute overview of your paper, delivered as a formal presentation

Research proposal: due 2015-12-16 Wed

This will be a paper of at least ten pages. It should describe an under-researched or problem area in transatlantic history and propose a research project to fill the gap. The research proposal paper should review the existing works on your topic, use course readings and outside readings, and describe conclusions and debates in the field. It should also describe the primary sources, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks you would use in this future research.

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.

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 at every class meeting. We count on your contributions to the discussion! If you have to miss a class, please contact me.

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.

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 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.

Title IX:

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 For information regarding Title IX, visit

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

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

Student Feedback Survey

At the end of each term, students enrolled in classes categorized as lecture, seminar, or laboratory shall be directed to complete a 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.

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. Students requiring
assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the
Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more
information and appropriate referrals.

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 the stairwell located in the southeastern corner of University Hall. 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 individuals with disabilities.

Grade Grievance Policy:

See the university policy in the UTA catalog.

Weekly Schedule

2015-08-26 Wed Week 0: Prepare for first day of class

  • Read:
    • Morgan and Greene, “Introduction: The Present State”
    • Zimmer, “Transatlantic History”
  • Write: 1-page [300-400 words] summary of either Morgan and Greene or Zimmer

2015-09-02 Wed Week 1: Atlantic History, introduced

  • Discuss Morgan and Greene; Zimmer
  • Review summaries
  • For next week read Bailyn, Atlantic History, (entire)

2015-09-09 Wed Week 2: 1492 and All That

  • Discuss Bailyn
  • Review: the Spanish Conquest of America
  • For next week read Norton, Marcy. Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures

2015-09-16 Wed Week 3: Columbian Exchanges

  • Discuss Norton
  • Review Slavery in the Americas
  • For next week read: Carney and Rosomoff. In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy

2015-09-23 Wed Week 4: More Colombian Exchanges

  • Discuss Carney and Rosomoff
  • Review native American history
  • For next week read: Weaver, The Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World

2015-09-30 Wed Week 5: Americans

  • Discuss Weaver
  • Review Atlantic Africa
  • For next week read: Sweet, Domingos Álvarez, African Healing and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World

2015-10-07 Wed Week 6: The Intellectual History of the Atlantic

  • Discuss Sweet
  • Review early Atlantic Revolutions
  • For next week read: Donoghue, Fire Under the Ashes: An Atlantic History of the English Revolution

2015-10-14 Wed Week 7: Atlantic Revolutions; 1-page synopsis paper due on 10-21

  • Discuss Donoghue
  • Review 18th-century Atlantic revolutions
  • For next week read Scott and Hébrard, Freedom Papers 1-190

2015-10-21 Wed Week 8: Atlantic Revolutions, part 2

  • Discuss Scott and Hébrard
  • Synopsis paper due
  • Review Atlantic in World War One
  • For our November 4 meeting, read Putnam, Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age

2015-10-28 Wed NO CLASS MEETING Week 9: Work on research assignment

2015-11-04 Wed Week 10: Is Caribbean history Atlantic history?

  • Discuss Putnam
  • For next week read Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age

2015-11-11 Wed Week 11: The Progressive Age

  • Discuss Rodgers
  • For next week read Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris

2015-11-18 Wed Week 12: Americans in Europe

  • Discuss Blower
  • For two weeks from now, read Read: Nolan, The Transatlantic Century

2015-11-25 Wed NO CLASS MEETING Week 13: Optional draft of paper due

2015-12-02 Wed Week 14: Transatlantic Century

  • Discuss Nolan

2015-12-09 Wed Week 15: Paper presentations

2015-12-16 Wed Final paper due via Blackboard

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.