HIST 4653 Biography and the Black Atlantic, 1400-1800 (HPE, HTR)
Professor Sandra Greene
Historical biographies are one of the most popular forms of historical writing. In this course we will examine the challenges and opportunities of writing biographies set in the pre-1800 world by focusing on people in the black Atlantic (individuals of African descent who traveled between and lived in West Africa, Europe and the Americas). What makes for a good historical (as opposed to a literary or simply glorifying) biography? How can one add depth and context to the often limited nuggets of information about an individual life in ways that can reveal so much more? These are questions at the heart of this course.