Slavery and Forced Migration in Global Perspective HIST5164

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces students to the history of slavery and forced migration, c. 1400-1900, giving them a solid grounding in a historiography that has become increasingly global and comparative. In a series of weekly seminars, students will discuss critical pieces of scholarship in the field, paying special attention to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, nineteenth-century abolition and the subsequent expansion of indentured labour.


10 x 2 hour seminars as scheduled in mycampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





1 x Review essay (3,000 words) 60%

1 x Seminar presentation: book-review length (10 min) 15%, 1000 words + written book review (1,000 words) 15%

Seminar participation 10%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Engage students in current debates on the history of involuntary labour migrations;

■ Explore concepts and methodologies used in the study of slavery and forced migration;

■ Investigate the causes, organisation and outcomes of the overseas movement of enslaved and indentured workers;

■ Enable students to strengthen their skills as independent researchers through critical engagement with primary and secondary source materials, peer-group discussion and written output.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Distinguish different ways in which the historical movement of enslaved and indentured workers has shaped the modern world;

■ Appraise current trends in the historiography of involuntary migration;

■ Judge different conceptual and methodological approaches to the study of enslavement and forced migration;

■ Apply rigorous critical analysis to specialised secondary literature and relevant primary sources;

■ Compose an original research question and sound historical arguments based on independent research;

■ Translate research findings in a clear, logical and concise form.

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.