Transatlantic Connections

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Transatlantic Connections

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    American Studies, European Studies, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    • Students will develop their knowledge about the circulations of goods, people and ideas that were essential to the formation of an Atlantic space that encompasses the Americas, Africa and Europe.
    • Students will learn about current ‘big debates’ within the field of Atlantic history and learn to take an independent position of their own, adopting a critical stance towards historiography.
    • Students will establish links between our present-day world and certain specific transatlantic connections that were developed since the sixteenth century.
    • Students will further develop academic writing skills and self-assessment.

    In this course, we will investigate the development of connections across the Atlantic Ocean throughout history. \

    The branch of history that has dedicated itself to analyzing the development of the Atlantic space has come into being only in the second half of the twentieth century, but the Atlantic space in itself can be said to have developed itself since the first encounters between Europeans and Amerindians after Columbus’ first voyage to the New World. The further development of the Atlantic is fundamentally based on the interaction between a variety of goods, ideas and people, an interaction that at times was peaceful, but that perhaps more often took place on the basis of violence, forced migration and slave labor.

    Seven themes about these human interactions will be analyzed and discussed over the course of a semester. These themes cover cultural (music & language/literature), economic (mining & consumer culture), socio-political (spread of political ideas & role of human migration) and environmental (Columbian exchange) issues. Together, these themes provide a representative body to comprehend the nature and importance of the web of transatlantic connections spun over the centuries. Some of these developed themselves as a result of the establishment of an Atlantic, while others contributed fundamentally to an Atlantic space.

    This course will consist of two two-hour seminars per week. Students can miss no more than two of those seminars, with a valid reason.

    Assignments & presentation (40%), final exam (60%).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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