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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2010

T C 357 • History of the Early Modern Atlantic - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43580 T
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
CRD 007A

Course Description

US colonial history was more than simply the preface to the foundation of the American nation. The thirteen original colonies were part of a much larger British Empire that included plantations in the Caribbean and Canada and holdings in Africa and India. To understand colonial history we need to understand the British Empire as a whole and its interactions with other empires and continents: Ottoman, Chinese, Japanese, Native American, African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and French. Can we consider nations like the Comanches rulers of empires? Was Iroquois Christianity any less authentic than that of the English? What was the role of Africa in the slave trade? This course explores the histories of the peoples whose interactions and struggles shaped colonial history: Native Americans, Africans, Asians, and the various European settlers.

Grading Policy

This class is writing intensive and will be conducted as a reading seminar. Students will every week turn in a 1-2 page evaluation of the week's readings (80 %). To get an A, students should clearly identify the argument of the book/article as well as the author's sources and methodology. Students should also bring to class three questions for discussion. Students will write a short, 4 page final paper: a prospectus for future research based on one of the topics tackled by the readings (10%). The remaining 10 % of the grade corresponds to attendance and participation.


Don't be put off by the amount of reading in this class. If anything, this class will teach you how to get quickly, accurately, and critically to the argument and structure of books. If you are interested in pursuing any graduate work ( in the humanities or the social sciences, law, business, even medicine—I have a medical degree), this seminar is cut out for you.

Selections from:
Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (Princeton, 2006):
Tom Bender, A Nation Among Nations (Hill and Wang: 2006)
Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, A Nation Upon the Ocean Sea (Oxford: 2006)
John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 2nd ed (Cambridge, 1998)
Bernard Bailyn, Atlantic History (Harvard, 2005)
David Weber, Bárbaros (Yale, 2005)
David Ringrose, Expansion and Global Interaction (Longman, 2001)
Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint (Oxford, 2004)
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford, 2006)
Jon Sensbach, Rebecca's Revival (Harvard, 2005)
James Sweet, Recreating Africa (North Carolina, 2006)

About the Professor

Jorge Canizares-Esguerra received his PhD in the history of Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Canizares-Esguerra has been a SSRC fellow, a NEH fellow at the John Carter Brown Library, an Andrew Mellon Research Fellow at the Huntington Library, and a Harrington Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas-Austin. He has also been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and of the Charles Warren Center of Studies of American History at Harvard. His American Historical Review article "New World, New Stars: Patriotic Astrology and the Invention of Indian and Creole Bodies, 1600-1650" (February, 1999) won the 1999-2001 best article award from the Forum in the History of the Human Sciences of the History of Science Society. His book How to Write the History of the New World: Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-century Atlantic World (Stanford University Press, 2001) won two awards from the American Historical Association in 2001 (The Atlantic History and the John Edwin Fagg Prizes). The book was cited in 2001 in TLS, the Independent (London), and the Economist among the best books of the year. He also is the author of Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford, 2006) and Nature Empire and Nation (Stanford 2006). He has coedited with Erik Seeman, The Atlantic in Global History (Prentice Hall, 2006).


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