Africans and Amerindians in Early Modern Latin America (HIH1031)
|Staff||Dr Silvia Espelt-Bombin - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
This module aims to introduce you to the challenges encountered by historians studying Africans, Indigenous peoples and their descendants in early modern Latin America. Some of them left sources that tell us about their lives and history, while others’ experiences are buried in sources written for and by Europeans. Seminars will use a wide range of sources including paintings, engravings, maps, decrees, explorers’ narratives, missionary letters, slaving ships’ records, court and inquisition trials, and contemporary ethnography. It will also highlight the relevance and pitfalls of interdisciplinary research incorporating archaeology, linguistics and anthropology.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and assess the main developments in the history people of African, Indigenous and mixed descent in early modern Latin America.
- 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of race and ethnicity in early modern Latin America.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. Write to a very tight word-length.
Weekly seminar topics may vary, but can include: Indigenous empires and polities; the encounters; the conquests; transatlantic slavery and slavery; European-Amerindians-Africans; maroon communities; Colonial societies; Religious practices.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Canny, N., Morgan, Ph. (ed), The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World, 1450-1850 (OUP, 2011).
Heuman, G., Brief Histories: The Caribbean (Hodder Arnold, 2005).
Lane, K., Restall, M., Latin America in Colonial Times (CUP, 2011).
Mills, K., Taylor, William B., Graham, S. L., Colonial Latin America. A Documentary History (Wilmington: SRB, 2002).
Moya, José (ed). The Oxford handbook of Latin American history (Oxford, 2011).
Price, R., First Time. The Historical Vision of an African American People (Chigaco UP, 1983/2002)
Restall, M., Sousa, L., Terraciano, K. Mesoamerican voices: native-language writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca,
Yucatan and Guatemala. (Stanford UP, 2009).
Whitehead, N., Of Cannibals and Kings. Primal Anthropology in the Americas (PennState UP, 2011).
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Last revision date
Key words search
Latin America, Spanish America, Brazil, Race, Indigenous, Slavery, Early Modern.