HS3SSA-Slavery in America

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Ms Liz Barnes

Email: l.barnes@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems.


Aims:

Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems.


Assessable learning outcomes:

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




  • undertake detailed textual analysis and comment on the primary materials

  • achieve a detailed command of varying historical interpretations of the primary materials and subject as a whole

  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions

  • recognise and interpret a wide range of different primary materials


Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.


Outline content:

American slavery and its legacy raise major questions about the nature of American society, and the study of enslavement has produced many historiographical debates among historians. This module considers key aspects of American slavery. Issues to be explored include the nature of enslaved families, enslaved work patterns, enslaved culture and belief systems, enslaved people’s solidarity and divisions as well as the exploitation of slaves through physical or sexual abuse and enforced separations. The module also explores white perspectives on enslavement, compares slavery in the USA with that in the Caribbean and South America, and traces the abolition of enslavement during the Civil War era. It also considers literary and cinematic representations of slavery. There will be a focus on gender throughout the module. Key primary sources from enslaved perspectives are used throughout, including the narratives and autobiographies of former slaves (for example the Works Progress Administration interviews, and the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs). Students also examine other primary evidence such as wills, bills of sale and enslaved folk stories. White perspectives on enslavement are also utilized, including the diaries and letters of slave owners such as James Henry Hammond and Frances Anne Kemble.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The teaching for this module involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. Students will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. Students will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 22 22
Tutorials 2
Guided independent study 176 178
       
Total hours by term 198.00 202.00
       
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 40
Written assignment including essay 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A two-hour paper involving detailed commentary on extracts from the sources studied.


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write two essays (each constituting 30% of the overall mark for the module) to be submitted electronically, the first by 12 noon on the Monday of Week 5 in the spring term, the second by 12 noon on the Friday of Week 1 in the summer term. Each essay shall not exceed 3,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography. Essays which exceed the word limit by more than 5% will incur a penalty of five marks. Candidates will be rewarded for making appropriate use of the prescribed texts.


Formative assessment methods:

Formative work, for instance seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, practice source commentaries, will be required for this Special Subject over the two terms.



Practice commentaries on the sources will be required for formative assessment.


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:

    Re-assessment will be by the same method as the module’s original requirement, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 1 October 2018

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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