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Slave Resistance and Post-Emancipation Rebellions in the Americas (HI926 - Withdrawn)

This module has now been permanently withdrawn and is no longer taught in the Warwick History Department.

Context of Module
Module Aims
Intended Learning Outcomes
Outline Syllabus
Illustrative Bibliography
Context of Module

This module, taught in the Spring Term, may be taken by students on the MA in the History of Race in the Americas, the MA in History, or taught Master's students outside the History Department.

Module Aims

The study of "Resistance" has been an important part of studies of slavery and post-emancipation societies. Consequently, an MA on "The History of Race in the Americas" would hardly be complete without a treatment of this subject.

The aims of this module, then, are to introduce students to the ways in which slaves and ex-slaves resisted their oppression. Slaves, in particular, did so by rebelling, by running away and by involving themselves in more subtle forms of resistance. These patterns of resistance continued after emancipation, and it will be a crucial element in this module to trace the continuities between slavery and freedom.

Intended Learning Outcomes
  • The development of study, writing and communication skills
  • To provide the opportunity, through writing a 5000 word essay, to choose and frame for themselves a topic worthy of analysis in the light of the advanced literature in the relevant area of study; to construct their own bibliographies from books, articles and websites; to gather evidence and use it to shape a cogent and coherent extended analytical discussion; and where appropriate to deploy evidence from primary sources.
  • To develop critical analytical skills through the assessment of historical approaches to the emergence of slave and post-emancipation societies in the Americas.
  • To develop an awareness of different historical sub-disciplines, through the assessment of the work of historians of slavery, race and emancipation to the study of the Americas.
Outline Syllabus

Seminar 1: Slave Resistance: An Overview

Seminar 2: The Haitian Revolution

Seminar 3: Slave Resistance: Religion and Resistance

Seminar 4: Slave Resistance: Running Away

Seminar 5: Slave Resistance: Marronage

Seminar 6: Post-Emancipation Resistance: The Morant Bay Rebellion

Seminar 7: Post-Emancipation Resistance: Riots and Disturbances in the Caribbean

Seminar 8: Gender and Resistance

Illustrative Bibliography

Eugene Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution

Leslie Rout, Jr., The African Experience in Spanish-America

David Geggus, "The Haitian Revolution", in Franklin W. Knight and Colin A. Palmer, The Modern Caribbean

Carolyn E. Fick, The Making of Haiti

Michael Mullin, Africa in America

The Confessions of Nat Turner

Mary Turner, Slaves and Missionaries

Mary Reckord, "The Jamaica Slave Rebellion of 1831", Past and Present, 40 (July, 1968), pp. 108-25

Gad Heuman, Out of the House of Bondage

Gad Heuman, The Killing Time


1 assessed essay of 5,000 words: the course is taught in weekly 2-hour seminars