5144/CRN 96668: Transatlantic Studies:
Professor Crandall Shifflett
Office Hours: By Appointment
This course is a general introduction at the graduate level
to Atlantic World Studies during the Early Modern Period. This semester
will be devoted to a comparative history of the English, Irish, French,
Dutch, African, Spanish, and Indian itineraries (trade, exploration and
discovery, opportunity, religion, consolidation of power, wealth and others)
during the Age of Exploration and Discovery (may also be called the Age
of Raiding and Conquest), 1550-1705, with comparative focus upon
1. discussion sessions
Attendance at discussion sessions is mandatory. If your extracurricular activities (including employment, practices, rehearsals, conferences, performances, or meetings) conflict with this class, do not enroll! Everyone can miss a single discussion over the course of the semester without penalty: this exemption is designed to accommodate illness, family emergency, or unavoidable schedule conflicts. It is not intended to give you a pass to skip a class. The benchmark for discussion grades is a B. If you attend every session and participate, you will receive a B for this portion of your grade. If you attend class faithfully but never or rarely participate, your grade will be no higher than a C. The grade will be lowered if you miss classes or raised for exemplary participation. Exemplary participation is demonstrated not simply by answering a question, but rather by interacting with other students in the class and especially by advancing the discussion with your own questions, interpretations, and ideas. Discussions sessions should be characterized by conversation among students, not by a dialogue between one student and the instructor. There are 10 discussion sessions over the course of the semester. If you miss 4 or more, you will receive an F for this portion of the class.
2. short reaction papers
Each student is required to write 4 brief (2-3 pp. or 500-750 words) reaction papers. Double space, use one inch margins, and .12 font size. Not summaries of the readings, but thoughtful essays that engage a theme, question, or issue of particular interest to you and demonstrate your command of the literature is the benchmark. At least one of these papers will be due the same day that you are assigned to lead the class discussion. Others may be submitted at any time but at least two reaction papers must be completed by the midterm exam. All reaction papers must be turned in at the beginning of the class. You must be present in class to receive credit for completing the assignment: unless you have been unexpectedly hospitalized or called away on a family emergency, do not give your friends papers to hand in for you. There will be no exceptions from these requirements. Plan ahead. If your computer and/or printer are unreliable and you wish to write a paper, get the paper done well ahead of time or hire a typist. You cannot hand in these short papers at any later date for any kind of credit.
3.Mid-term and final exams
Applebaum and Sweet, Envisioning an English Empire
Kupperman, Indians and English
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves
Mancall, The Atlantic World and Virginia, 1550-1624
Gleach, Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia
White, The Middle Ground
Cook, Born to Die
Daniels and Kennedy, Negotiated Empires
Rabiner and Fortunato, Thinking Like Your Editor (recommended)
Carville Earle, "Environment, Disease, and Mortality
Charlotte M. Gradie, "Spanish Jesuits in
J. B. Harley, "Deconstructing the Map," Cartographica 26:2 (Summer 1989)
Martin H. Quitt, "Trade and Acculturation at
David W. Stahle, Malcolm K. Cleaveland, Dennis B. Blanton, Matthew D. Therrell, and David A. Gay, "The Lost Colony and Jamestown Droughts," in Science, Vol 280, 24 April 1988 (www.sciencemag.org)
Colin Palmer, Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern
The Rise and Fall of the
Andre Gunder Frank, ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age. "Preface" and "Introduction."
Aug 28 Introduction; semester assignments (Mandatory attendance for all students. Students who do not attend this class will be dropped from the roll)
Read Andre Gunder Frank, Eric Wolf, and Eric Williams Read Eric Wolf, "Introduction," and "Afterword," in Europe and the People without History about the work of important theorists such as Andre Gunder Frank, Immanuel Wallerstein, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and others. Read for an understanding of the concepts of "dependency," "core and periphery," class and culture, and others treated in this introduction; Andre Gunder Frank, "Preface" and "Introduction," ReOrient; Palmer, Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern Caribbean, "Introduction" and "Intellectual Decolonization;" Amy Turner Bushnell and Jack P. Greene, "Peripheries, Centers, and the Construction of Early Modern American Empires: An Introduction," in Daniels and Kennedy, Negotiated Empires.
Read: Eric Griffin, "The Specter of Spain in John Smith's Colonial Writing," in Appelbaum and Sweet, Envisioning an English Empire, pp. 111-134; Charlotte M. Gradie, "Spanish Jesuits in Virginia," VMHB, 96:2 (April 1988); J.H. Elliott, "The Iberian Atlantic and Virginia," in Mancall, Virginia and the Atlantic World; David J. Weber, "Bourbons and Barbaros: Center and Periphery in Reshaping Spanish Indian Policy," in Daniels and Kennedy, Negotiated Empires; Joseph Hall, "Oconee Valley Residents and the Spanish Southeast, 1540-1621," in Mancall, The Atlantic World and Virginia." Film Preview: The Mission (discussion)
Focus questions: How did Spanish patterns of settlement differ? Outcomes? Do the Spanish missions to the Guaraní Indians confirm or challenge the black legend?
Sep 25 Open
Itineraries of Exploration and Discovery:
Read: Richard Hakluyt, Discourse on Western Planting; Andrew Hadfield, "Irish Colonies and the Americas," and John Wood Sweet, "Introduction," and "Sea Changes," and James Horn, "The Conquest of Eden," all in Appelbaum and Sweet, Envisioning an English Empire; Philip D. Morgan, "Virginia's Other Prototype: The Caribbean,"in Mancall, The Atlantic World and Virginia; Gleach, Intro - Ch. 4.
Focus questions: Why did Englishmen come to
Oct 9 Open (SHA Meeting, Oct. 9-12, New Orleans)
Oct 16 Midterm Exam
Indian Itineraries of Trade and
Read: Kupperman, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America; Martin H. Quitt, "Trade and Acculturation at Jamestown, 1607-1609," W&M Quarterly 3rd series, LII: 2 (April 1995), Virtual Jamestown demo: John White's Watercolors and the De Bry Engravings; Gleach, Chs. 4 - 9. Focus Questions: What expectations did Jamestown settlers have of native peoples? Why did Powhatan allow the English to survive? What motivated the English and Indians and how did these motivations shape Anglo-Indian relations? What explains the differences in the White watercolors and the De Bry engravings?
French Itineraries: Great Lakes
Read: Richard White, The Middle Ground, pp. 1-185; Peter Cook, "Kings, Captains, and Kin: French Views of Native American Political Cultures in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries," and Philip P. Boucher, "revisioning the 'French Atlantic.'" both in Mancall, The Atlantic World and Virginia. Film preview: Black Robe
Focus issue: Compare and contrast French and English views of native peoples.
Time, Place, and History
Read: Lisa Blansett, "John Smith Maps Virginia," pp. 68-91,in Applebaum and Sweet, Envisioning an English Empire; and J. B. Harley, "Deconstructing the Map," Cartographica 26:2 (Summer 1989), 1-20; deconstruct John Smith's Map of Virginia.
Focus questions: How does the map of John Smith inform us about English expectations, agendas, and perspectives? If all historical scholarship has a "voice," what are the possibilities?
Environment, Disease, Diet, and Death
Cook, Born to Die, "Introduction," and Chs.
3,5, and "Conclusion;" Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, Chs.
8-9; Kupperman, "Apathy
and Death in Early Jamestown;" Robert Appelbaum,
"Hunger in Early Virginia," Envisioning an English Empire;
"Environment, Disease, and Mortality in Early Virginia," in Thad
Tate and David Ammerman, eds., The Chesapeake
in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Ango-American
Society; David W. Stahle, Malcolm K. Cleaveland, Dennis B. Blanton, Matthew D. Therrell, and David A. Gay, "The Lost Colony and Jamestown
Droughts," in Science, Vol 280,
24 April 1988 (www.sciencemag.org)
Focus questions: What role did the environment (or fear, hunger, or
apathy) play in early
Slave Trade and Slavery in
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, Chs. 6-7;
Focus questions: Discuss why Europe did not adopt slavery? Discuss the nature, dimensions, composition, duration, dominant nations, and destinations of the Transatlantic slave trade. Why did the slave trade end and what were the results? Cf. slavery and indentured servitude. Who controlled the slave trade in Africa? Why did the slave trade persist? Why were Africans enslaved? What made sugar slavery such a harsh institution?
Nov 17 - 25 Thanksgiving
Dec 4 First African Virginians and
questions: Did Virginia's "charter
generation" of slaves identify with an "Atlantic creole" heritage
they brought with them from the African slave coasts and transplanted in
Virginia or did they form other alliances? When and why did slavery begin
Final Exam: TBA
Calculation of Grades
A total of 1,000 points may be accumulated for the class based upon the following assignments and values:
Midterm exam: 200
Final exam: 300
Discussion leader: 100
Reaction Essays: 400
The Graduate Honor Code establishes academic integrity among graduate students. By accepting admission, you agree to comply with the Graduate Honor Code, which requires honesty and ethical behavior in all academic pursuits. The Graduate Honor Code at Virginia Tech applies to all aspects of this course.