History of Slavery and Servitude in the Western World – HIWD 550

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course examines the history of slavery and other forms of servitude in the Western world from the ancient civilizations of the Near East through the modern nation-states of Europe and the Americas.




Slavery, in one form or another, has been found in every corner of the world and featured in the histories of the major monotheistic faiths. By taking this course, the student will develop an informed understanding of this institution and its history. As the student will realize, American slavery evolved in a specific context in the modern world, while at the same time, drawing upon ancient networks and justifications to support it. The student will gain increased insight into how slavery could co-exist with freedom in the United States. The course will show the student the different roles slavery and slaves played in different countries at different times, focusing on the cultural, social, and political implications of the institution and those involved in it.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate graduate-level writing and critical thinking skills.
  2. Demonstrate graduate-level mastery and analysis of secondary and primary sources.
  3. Demonstrate graduate-level research skills in various types of primary sources, archives, and databases.
  4. Possess in-depth knowledge of the varied cultural, political, intellectual, and religious dynamics pertinent to forced labor in various settings.
  5. Produce a primary source based research paper suitable for presentation and publication.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–250 words.

Historiography Paper Rough Draft

The student is required to write a 3-4 page rough draft of the historiography paper he/she will complete later in the course in current Turabian format. The rough draft should include 2 of 4 total sources used in the final paper. Books are selected from the list provided in the instructions and are found through the Jerry Falwell Library. The student cannot use any of the required textbooks, articles, or presentations.

Book Review

The student will write a 700-800 book review on From Rebellion to Revolution by Eugene Genovese in current Turabian format. The student will only use the assigned book for this assignment.

Historiography Paper

The student will write a 7-10 page, historiography paper using sources from the books listed in the instructions. The paper must include ONLY books from that list, and books from that list only. The student will use the Jerry Falwell Library to access these sources. The student cannot use any of the required textbooks, articles, or presentations.

Exams (4)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned and the previous module/week. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 2 essay questions and have a 2 hour time limit. Students are required to cite course materials used in their answers in proper Turabian format. Answers should be at least 400 words each.