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The Zamani Reader

On West Africa, Britain, and the West Indies in the Eighteenth Century

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2018

Article on the Coromantee and Edward Long Published in Slavery & Abolition

Dear readers,

Today, I was fortunate to have my article published in the academic journal, Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies. The article is called “The origins of a source: Edward Long, Coromantee slave revolts, and The History of Jamaica.” It explores how an eighteenth-century planter and historian, named Edward Long, developed some knowledge of Africans in Jamaica, and then re-purposed and deployed that knowledge in the British abolitionist debates. Broadly speaking, the article has relevance for anyone who is interested in Jamaica, African Studies, and the British anti-slavery movement in the eighteenth century. More specifically, the article has relevance for anyone who is interested in the Gold Coast Diaspora, Tacky’s Revolt, and Edward Long. This essay began two years ago, in the fall of 2016, as a research paper for an article-writing seminar at UC Davis. After two years of intensive researching, re-thinking, writing, and editing, I am pleased to be able to share it with you. I want to thank everyone who helped me make the essay possible, including numerous readers, editors, and colleagues.  Finally, I would also like to thank all of the scholars whose work I built upon.

Thanks. If the article interests you, please reach out and let me know.

Enjoy!

Link to “The origins of a source” in Slavery & Abolition

Download a PDF version of “The origins of a source” here

Research at the West Indiana and Special Collections Division of UWI’s Alma Jordan Library in Trinidad

Dear readers,

After attending the 50th Association of Caribbean Historians conference in Barbados last June, I flew to Trinidad to conduct some research for my dissertation. I studied at the West Indiana and Special Collections Division of the Alma Jordan Library (AJL) at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). I had such an incredible time working with the AJL staff, and they were kind enough to write up a profile on my research for their Facebook page. I posted the link to their page below, and I also posted the profile in both PDF and PPT. Overall, researching at the AJL was a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend doing work there if you have the opportunity. In addition to housing great archival material on the early-modern era, the AJL is a premier location for the study of twentieth-century West Indian history. They have, for example, the private papers of such luminaries as Samuel Selvon, C.L.R. James, and Derek Walcott. In addition to housing the papers of Eric Williams, the library maintains an exceptional museum dedicated to his work and legacy on the second floor.

Profile on the AJL Facebook page

Distinguished Visitors Profile in PDF

Distinguished Visitors Profile in PowerPoint

 

Introducing “HIS 115A: West African History. The History and Memory of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”

Dear readers,

I am thrilled to announce that over the summer I was approved to teach my new course at UC Davis this coming Winter Quarter. The course is officially designated as “HIS 115A: West African History.” It is a special topics course about “The History and Memory of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” I could not be more excited to teach this course. This was the class that I designed during Fall Quarter, 2017, to satisfy requirements for my minor field in the PhD program here at Davis. I have amended the syllabus a bit because the original design was for a semester-long course and Davis only teaches in quarters. However, as of yesterday, the syllabus for the course is complete. I am sure that I will be making changes over the next couple of months but, nonetheless, I wanted to share the syllabus with you today. I have attached it below in PDF, along with a separate “Lab Schedule.” This shows the primary sources that I am considering assigning for our weekly lab exercises. If you or anyone you know are a UC Davis student and might be interested in taking the course, please sign up! Or if you are a student of African History who wants to offer some advice or criticism, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am always looking for ways to improve my classes and give my students the best experience possible. Finally, I have also used a copy of the course flier as the image for this post. I hope you like it. Enjoy!

HIS 115A Syllabus

HIS 115A Lab Schedule

HIS 115A Flier

Lecture: Introduction to Remembering the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa

Dear readers, this spring I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to write a new guest lecture for HIS 15B, the second part of the survey course in African History here at UC Davis. Officially, the class is called “Africa Today: Colonization and Globalization since 1900.” The lecture that I wrote for the class is on Public Memory and Memorialization of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Please note, this is only an introduction to the topic. Also, you should notice that I did not devote any space or time to discussing the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I have explored that history in a previous lecture, and one of my central arguments here is that the public memory of the Transatlantic Slave Trade has a history of its own, apart from the history of the trade itself.

As you may know, one of my professional goals is to teach a course on the history of slave-trade memory and memorialization in Africa and the West. With that in mind, I have taken the opportunity to develop a lecture that could serve as a foundation for that course. In keeping with the message of TZR, I have decided to make that lecture public, as well as any future lectures that I make on the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in a category called “The TAST Series.”

Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

Lecture on Remembering the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa (The TAST Series)

Note: The image featured in this post depicts a monument called the Door or No Return. This particular monument stands at the end of the Route of the Slaves in Ouidah, Benin. It was built as part of the Slaves Route project that began in 1994.

 

 

Course Materials for Minor in African History — HIS 116: Atlantic Africa in the Era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Dear readers, as part of the PhD program here at UC Davis, students in their third year are required to complete a minor in an historical sub-field that is different from their major field. Since my major is officially American History, I chose to fulfill my minor in African History. Per the requirements of the program, I needed to design an undergraduate course in African History, complete with a syllabus and a justification essay explaining the choices I made in designing the class. I completed those materials last December and my minor adviser approved them shortly thereafter. Now, I would like to share those materials with you. Below I have included PDF versions of my course syllabus and justification essay for the class I created. The class is called “HIS 116: Atlantic Africa in the Era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” I have also included the full text of my justification essay in case you would like to read it in blog form rather than PDF. Please feel free to use these materials in your own course design if you would like.

Syllabus for HIS 116 — Minor in African History for TZR (12-15-17)

Justification Paper for HIS 116 — Minor in African History (12-15-17)


Justification Paper for HIS 116:

Atlantic Africa in the Era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”

Introduction to the Course

The purpose of this justification paper is to explain the thought process behind my syllabus in African History. The syllabus is for a course entitled “HIS 116: Atlantic Africa in the Era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade,” and it falls under the designation of Special Themes in African History. The course is an upper-division class that is designed to meet twice a week, once on Tuesdays and once on Thursdays. Although the class is specifically designated as a lecture course, it is designed to be a hybrid of lecture and seminar. I will lecture on Tuesdays about a general topic in the history of Atlantic Africa, and then the students will engage in group discussion on Thursdays about readings which pertain to that subject. A 15-minute reading quiz will precede each discussion to ensure that students are doing the reading and to give them a chance to formulate their thoughts beforehand. Most times the discussions will take place in small groups of about 5 students and sometimes they will take place in one large group. Overall, this is a reading intensive class. On average, students will be expected to read between 150 and 200 pages each week. With the exception of a few weeks, students will be reading both secondary and primary sources for each discussion.

Objectives of the Course

For the majority of this justification paper, I am going to walk the reader through my course calendar, discussing the choices that I have made for the weekly lectures and readings. Before I do that, however, I would like to offer some general thoughts on the objectives of the class. First, the class is based on the assumption that young people in the United States today have at least a vague idea that the Transatlantic Slave Trade was integral to the development of the Americas. They may not know that roughly 12.5 million people were forcibly transported from West and West-Central Africa to the Western Hemisphere from the first decade of the sixteenth century to the third quarter of the nineteenth century, but they probably understand that enslavement formed some part of their country’s historical foundations and, thus, influenced their society’s present multiculturalism. But what about the history of Africa itself? Do young people have an equal understanding for how the Transatlantic Slave Trade affected African History? How did the trade affect Africans who did not leave the continent? How did the trade affect the history of the African societies from which enslaved persons were taken? How did it affect the history of the African societies that facilitated the slave trade? Finally, how is the trade remembered in academic discourse and popular culture? Continue reading “Course Materials for Minor in African History — HIS 116: Atlantic Africa in the Era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”

Lecture: Introduction to the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa

Dear readers, this winter I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to guest lecture for HIS 15A, the first part of the survey course in African History. Officially, the class was called “Africa to 1900: States and Societies, Slavery, and the Scramble.” The class met for lecture twice a week, and the professor designed it so that each week was based around a theme. Students would receive two lectures on that theme. The first was an overview of the subject and the second was a case study. I gave the overview lecture on the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade during week 6.

As you may know, one of my professional goals is to teach a course on the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa. With that in mind, I took the opportunity to develop a lecture that could serve as a foundation for that course. In keeping with the message of TZR, I have decided to make that lecture public, as well as any future lectures that I make on the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in a category called “The TAST Series.”

Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

Lecture on The Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africa (The TAST Series)

Note: The image featured in this post comes from the “Introductory Maps” section of the website Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database. It is called “Map 1: Overview of the Slave Trade Out of Africa, 1500-1900.”

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