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: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Emily West
Email: e.r.west@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 people’s work patterns, their 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 abolition 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 people’s perspectives are used throughout, including the narratives and autobiographies of formerly enslaved people (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 enslavers 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. St aff 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 198 202
       
Total hours for module 400

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 1 in the spring term, the second by 12 noon on the Wednesday of Week 11 in the spring 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 essay plans, 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 Support Centres 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 (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:

Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the third Friday of August.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: None

2) Specialist equipment or materials: None

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: None

4) Printing and binding: None

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: None

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: None


Last updated: 15 July 2021

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

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