Honors | Slavery: Worldwide Perspective
A360 | 0312 | Assensoh
The course is specifically designed to offer detailed knowledge about
several aspects of enslavement worldwide, including (1) the classical
slave trade that was outlawed in the 1800s; and (2) continuous acts of
slavery as well as bondage in many developing societies, which go a
long way to underscore that, while the slave trade was outlawed in the
1800s, slavery and various acts of bondage (or pockets of enslavement)
still exist worldwide.
Students of the course are to be provided with very useful
histo-political facts, which are to enable them to discern, for
themselves, events that may be classified in terms of outright
enslavement and bondage, coupled with indigenous acts of slavish
mentality on the part of rulers of various societies. Apart from
empirical evidence dealing with classical slave trade, which was
outlawed almost tow centuries ago, there are several cultural (or
customary) and political practices worldwide that - when critically
examined without bias - amply border on bondage (or outright slavery).
Above all, the students of the course are to be placed in an
intellectual frame of mind, whereby they can judge events and,
ultimately, decide if they did enslave the victims, including the
much-heralded practice know as femal circumcision (or clitoral
mutilation); years of political arrests and detentions without trial;
banishment and the exiling of political opponents in various
In the end, students of this three-credit-hour course will have ample
scholarly opportunities, through research activities, to compare and
contrast all forms of worldwide slavish or slave-like servitude
measures in modern times, thus fulfilling what Indiana University (IU)
President Myles Brand, inter alia, stressed in his August 27, 1998
keynote address to IU freshmen and their parents: "At IU, we believe
that our job is not to teach students what to think, but how to think
better [for themselves]…" (culled from p. A15 of the August 28, 1998
edition of The Herald-Times newspaper of Bloomington, Indiana).
Apart from the earmarked (or required texts) and supplementary reading
materials listed below, students will also use day-to-day clippings
from various newspapers, journals or magazines, which are relevant to
the subject matter: worldwide slavery!
Assensoh, A.B. African Political Leadership. Malabar, FL: Krieger,
Clinton, Catheirne. Plantation Mistress. New York: Pantheon, 1982.
Fyle, C.B. Introduction to the History of African Civilization.
University Press of America, 1999.
Hanks, Lawrence J. The Struggle for Black Political Empowerment.
Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1986.
Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1986.
Scott, Rebecca J. Slave Emancipation in Cuba. Pittsburgh, PA:
University of Pittsburgh Press.
SUPPLEMENTAL READING MATERIALS AND SELECTED CHAPTERS FROM THE
Assensoh, A.B. Essays on Contemporary International Topics. Devon,
Great Britian: Stockwell Publishers, 1986. [on reserve in the Main
Finkelman, Paul, ed. Comparative Issues in Slavery. New York: Garland
Publishing Company, 1989. [on reserve in the Main Library]
Franklin, John Hope and Alfred A. Moss, Jr. From Slavery to Freedom.
New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1994 [on reserve in the Main Library or
Black Cultural Center]
Twaddle, Michael. The Wages of Slavery. London, Great Britain: Frank
Cass and Company, 1993. [on reserve in the Main Library]
Watson, James L. Asian and African Systems of Slavery. Oxford: Basil
Blackwell, 1980. [on reserve in the Main Library]
*Most of these books and other reading materials have been on reserve
in the Undergraduate section of the IU Library, al students are urged,
if possible, to buy their own copies from bookstore(s).
Every enrolled student is required to attend class sessions on a
regular basis in order to do very well. Indeed, for students to
experience maximum benefits from the course, the assigned readings are
also to be done before the beginning of each class period.
Occasionally, the Professor or the AI is expected to suggest very
helpful supplementary readings in addition to texts listed on this
course outline. The perusal or use of such recommended reading
materials is optional, and, as a result, students may consult them at
Determination of points and final grades in the course:
There will be two major written examinations and a short paper: first
exam - to be scheduled during the mid-term exam period in the form of
multiple choice, completion, and identification - will count for 30
points. The second exam, scheduled for the week of final exams and
similar in content or style to the mid-term exam but much longer, will
count for 40 points (please, note that the alphabet-grade terms, e.g.
"A", "B", "C", etc., as it is only at the end of the semester that the
established grading scale - on alphabetical order - will count); the
film critique(s) or quiz will fetch a total of 15 points, at not more
than (3) points per each film - which is expected to be a completed
"critical" analysis of a film in an essay style of one or two (1 or 2)
pages and typed, if possible - is due in class on the next class day
after a film has been shown in class; please, there is NO exception to
this deadline so that the completed assignments can be graded and
returned promptly to students. However, at the Professor's discretion,
a quiz can be substituted for a critique of a particular film.
The short empirical term paper of six to ten (6-10) pages in length is
expected to be based on an aspect of comparative slavery or any form
of slave-like bondage, and it is due in class in the final week of the
course; the completed term or research paper will constitute 15 points
of the semester's total 100 points. However, with the professor's
expressed permission, a student may choose to do a comparative
analysis of three or more books selected from the listed texts on the
course outline, in which such a student will also detail and analyze
various forms of slave-like bondage or enslavement which have been
confirmed in the books.
Although no points have been assigned for completing or submitting
written assignments promptly as well as for very regular class
attendance and participation, exemplary students in this category will
be noted for such an important classroom citizenship, especially if it
ever becomes necessary for the professor to "curve" final grades at
the end of the semester.
Categories and how students will earn them:
Mid-term Examination 30 points
Research paper 15 points
Film critique or quiz 15 points
Final examination 15 points
Total points 100 points
Grading scale for the course (5 categories):
A-to A =90-100
Incomplete and Make-up Exams:
The grade of "Incomplete" ("P") may be assigned as a final grade in
the course only in very extraordinary circumstances. Also, make-up
exams may be allowed under similar extraordinary circumstances
(including incidences of documented hospitalization and death in one's
close family circles). Students should please note that no form of
cheating, plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be tolerated; if they
do occur, the stipulations or penalties of existing IU code of ethics
or discipline will be enforced.