Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Traders, Settlers, and Rebels: Africans in the Atlantic World, 1740-1938 HIST4256

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will highlight the personal histories of individual Africans in the making of the Atlantic world, as well as representations of Africa in Europe and beyond. From the establishment of trade networks across the Atlantic in the 18th century to the origins of pan-Africanism in the late 19th century and the creation of the concept of the 'Black Atlantic', this course highlights a series of key historical case studies with which students will explore the active and diverse roles played by Africans in the Atlantic world. Students will look at a range of primary and secondary sources related to the slave trade and anti-slavery activism, colonialism and imperialism, gender and family life, and labour and migration.


12x1hr lectures; 4x2hr seminars over ten weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Research Project (3000 words) - 60%

5 x 500 word reflection on reading - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Critically engage with biographies as both primary and secondary sources.

■ Read and analyse a variety of sources written by African and Black writers.

■ Gain an understanding of the role of Africa and African societies in modern Atlantic and Global History.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Evaluate the central role Africa and Africans played in Atlantic history and culture.

■ Evaluate the use of biographical material and biographies in historical analysis and use them in discussions and written work.

■ Explain the nature and significance of flows of migration from and to Africa, the Caribbean and the United States through the 19th and 20th century.

■ Analyse different forms of exchange between Africa and the African Diaspora.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.