HIST 4041 Atlantic Commodities (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS) (HGS)
Professor Ernesto Bassi
Since Columbus’s arrival to the Americas, a number of commodities have bound together Europe, Africa, and the Americas, drastically changing the lives of many people on both sides of the Atlantic. Covering nearly five hundred years of history, this seminar invites students to explore the history of the Atlantic World through the “lives” of commodities such as gold, silver, sugar, cacao, tobacco, cotton, cochineal, indigo, bananas, and more. Tracing commodities from their production site to the moment of consumption, students will be able to understand the possibilities that the commodity-chain approach offers to historical research. As part of this seminar students will write a research paper (using primary sources) that will explain the commodity chain of a specific commodity.