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HIST 450: Women in the Atlantic World (Murphy): Home

Course Description

Students taking this seminar will work closely with archival materials to develop research papers related to the early modern experiences of women in the United States in the context of a wider Atlantic World. The class requires students to pursue original research grounded in primary sources, engage a broad range of historical works on the topic, and interpret and analyze this information into a logically developed set of arguments. The course will offer students a common foundation on women in the Atlantic region from the 17th to the 19th centuries, from which they can develop historiographical knowledge as a spring board into individual research topics. 

Library and Archival Instruction Goals

By the end of library information and archival literacy sessions students will have the skills to identify contextually appropriate tools and sources to answer research questions.


Mary Jo Fairchild's picture
Mary Jo Fairchild

Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW)

The cross-colonial universality of the term “Negro” throughout the North American colonies as racial marker masks the importance of region in the creation of racial categories. This talk focuses on how the persistence of a multi-ethnic enslaved population shaped the development of race in unique ways in colonial New York and New Jersey during the eighteenth century. Although slavery was increasingly legally tied to skin color and African heritage, there remained a conflict inherent in creating race: even as masters sought to define their runaways as “negro,” the enslaved claimed for themselves their own ethnic identities. Such conflicting identities, and the expectations inherent in them, were used by the enslaved in their bids for freedom.

Dr. Nicole Maskiell is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, Columbia and specializes in family and household relationships within slavery as well as slave networks in both Dutch and English colonial America. Her current book project, entitled Bound by Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of a Northern Gentry, examines the dense slave-holding ties that knit together Anglo-Dutch slave-holding families and spanned the colonial boundaries of the Atlantic, connecting the bouwerijs and manors of the Northeast to the plantations and great houses of the Southern colonies, Caribbean and European metropoles.

Archival Silence