Introducing FWIS 167 – The Rise and Fall of Atlantic Slavery, an experiment with digital history in the undergraduate classroom

I am teaching a freshman writing-intensive seminar this spring on the rise and fall of Atlantic slavery using digital history tools.  The course will build out from a WordPress site that I designed, and that you can visit at

In addition to brief, weekly blog entries based on the readings, students will focus on a subtopic of their own choosing for the remainder of assignments. A full list of potential subtopics is provided on the syllabus, but examples include economics, gender, law, religion, etc.  Assignments include the collaborate creation of a digital timeline using TimeineJS, the construction of an online archive using Tumblr, a historiography of a wikipedia page, a reflection on modern slavery, and finally a brief research paper that uses the sources that the student selected for their digital archive.

I welcome feedback on the website, the syllabus, or any thoughts you may have on the course.  I’m excited to experiment with this new pedagogical tool, and look forward to updating you on what works and what does not throughout the semester.

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