HS1POP1-Exploring the Atlantic World,1450-1800

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Richard Blakemore

Email: r.blakemore@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.

The aim of this module is to study and interpret the emergence and development of an ‘Atlantic world’ from the late fifteenth to the late eighteenth century, formed by exchanges and interactions between the peoples of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. In particular, it focuses on encounters between cultures and the growth of imperial and trading networks, and their impact on the inhabitants of the Atlantic.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • identify the sources of the topic in question

  • trace its historical development

  • be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development

  • understand how ideas and ideologies are shaped by their historical contexts

  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed coursework 

  • demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims:
•to encourage students to think independently
•to help students develop good oral and written communication skills
•to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
•to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:
This module introduces students to the ‘Atlantic world’, the idea that from the late fourteenth to the late eighteenth century new connections were established around and across this ocean, connections which drove profound and often turbulent changes to cultures, economies, and political structures, and which have left an important and sometimes unsettling legacy for the modern world. It will begin with a survey of the societies which existed around the Atlantic basin before regular contact was established, and consider early encounters between European travellers and African and American communities, together with their consequences for both indigenous and alien participants. We will then look at the growth of European commercial and imperial interests in South and North America and the Caribbean, and the interactions between these newcomers and the resident populations of these regions, before turning to one of the defining features of this world, the transatlantic slave trade, to consider its impact upon societies in Africa and the Americas. The module will conclude with the ‘age of revolutions’, when political upheaval in France, Haiti, and North and South America broke apart the Atlantic empires of the previous few centuries. Students will be encouraged to consider this history in a wide-ranging and comparative perspective, and to reflect upon the ways in which scholars have sought to describe and understand the ‘Atlantic world’.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Written exam 50% 

one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment 50%:

1 written assignment of c. 1,250 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin, by 12 noon on the submission deadline in Week 11 specified on the module site on Blackboard.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 25 September 2018


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