Race, Religion and Profit in the Atlantic World, 17th-19th Century


Course Objective

Increasing knowledge and insight in the field of Atlantic history,
slavery studies and historical race studies. Developing research skills,
especially archival research.

Course Content

Race relations in Europe, Africa and the Americas in the context of
Atlantic slavery are the general topic of this research seminar. The
historic connections between large scale commercial slavery in the
European Atlantic Empires and the racialization of social relations has
been the subject of many decades of scholarly debate. The subject also
is of great relevance to contemporary public debates, especially in the
Netherlands where the social implications of the country’s involvement
in slavery has long been downplayed. In this course, we will investigate
practices and mechanisms of racialization in their concrete historic
context. We will do so with special attention to comparative
developments in the role of religion and economy in various Atlantic
settings in the 17th-19th century, and including contemporary
perspectives and debates.

Teaching Methods

This seminar will consist of research using archival material and other
primary sources. Students are encouraged to find their own research
topic after an initial period of collective research meetings and
discussions. There are options to contribute to ongoing research
projects at the VU on the history and memory of the slave trade and

Method of Assessment

Assignments (25%), research paper (75%).


Will be provided during class.

Target Audience

Students MA and ResMA History,

Additional Information

This is a research seminar aimed at doing archival research and writing
a MA research paper. In 2017-2018 the focus will be on the Dutch
plantation colony Suriname in South America. Using court records and
other primary documents, students will gain a better understanding of
the everyday functioning of a slave-based society, as well as acquire
skills for doing independent research based on primary sources.

General Information

Course Code L_GAMAGES024
Credits 6 EC
Period P2+3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. P. Brandon
Examiner dr. P. Brandon
Teaching Staff dr. D.G. Hondius
dr. P. Brandon

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

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