Atlantic World

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What is the "Atlantic World"?

Since the post-war period, historians have acknowledged that one of the most fruitful means to understand the history of the Americas, Europe, and Africa, is to study their intrinsic connections with one another, famously prevalent since 1492. The field of Atlantic World history studies the circulation of people, objects, and ideas between these three areas, as well as the Atlantic Ocean which connects them.

How can I study the Atlantic World at ECU?

  1. The Atlantic World (AW) program offers its capstone seminar in the Fall, HIST 6930. This seminar provides all of our AW students with a comprehensive grounding in the field's history and historiography. Dr. Perry, the Department's AW Historian, returned from a prestigious ACLS Fellowship awarded for her research project: "London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Belonging."

    Previously, Dr Julia Gaffield lead the Atlantic World Seminar. Dr Gaffield specializes in the history of the Caribbean in the 18th and 19th centuries. She earned her PhD from Duke University, studying under Professor Laurent Dubois. In April 2010 Dr Gaffield received international media attention for her archival discovery of the only known extant government-issued copy of the Haitian Declaration of Independence.

  2. Have a look at the Atlantic World Faculty web-pages on this website, and meet AW faculty, virtually but also in person! Our doors are always open to interested students. In addition to our AW courses, we teach other specialized seminars which offer some training in the Atlantic World approach. We invite you to peruse our Course Offerings(need link) for further details.

  3. You may wish to consider registering for the Atlantic World concentration.

    Aimed at talented and qualified students from around the world, the Atlantic World concentration of the History M.A. offers training in a variety of related fields across a range of temporal specializations, with interdisciplinary options also available. The program qualifies its graduates to pursue PhDs in the Atlantic World, and potentially in numerous subfields, such as European, American, Caribbean, African, and Latin American history, International Relations, and African & African American Studies. The Atlantic World history concentration at ECU also provides training in academic and practical skills tailored to meet the needs of teachers, public servants, and business leaders operating in a trans-Atlantic and global environment.

The Atlantic World Program at ECU is unique because it operates in tandem with programs in Maritime History, Maritime Archaeology, Conservation, and Public History. The curriculum includes a selection of courses in the historiography of the Atlantic World, as well as European, American, Caribbean, African, African American, and Latin American History.

The faculty team also trains students in sub-fields such as the history of gender, the history of race and slavery, the history of Diaspora, the history of political and economic thought, the history of religion, social history, and intellectual and cultural history.

Banner image source: Emanuel Bowen, A New & Accurate Chart of the Western or Atlantic Ocean Drawn from Surveys and most approved Maps & Charts. The whole being regulated by Astronomical Observations. From John Harris, Navigantiumatque itinerantium bibliotheca, or, A complete collection of voyages and travels (London: Printed for T. Woodward… [et al.], 1744-1748), Vol. II, 3. Courtesy of North Carolina Maps Collection, Special Collections, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.