Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2580 Slavery Studies Through Autobiography

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Danielle Terrazas Williams

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Slavery in nineteenth-century Cuba was a site of great tragedy and transition. Juan Francisco Manzano’s slave narrative is the only such autobiography of an enslaved person while slavery still existed in Cuba. Manzano (1797-1854) experienced the height of Cuba’s investment in slavery and did not live to see its abolition (1886). Through the close reading and analysis of his autobiography and additional primary sources on slavery and empire, we will consider themes of family/community, gendered experiences of slavery, labour conditions, freedom, violence, and mental health. We will also discuss what it means for a historian to explore the history of slavery primarily through the lens of one person’s experience of this expansive and dominating institution. This skills-focused module will ensure weekly individual and pair/group engagement with primary sources related to slavery, including visual materials, data sets, testimonies, and legal culture.


The aim of this module is develop skills and strengthen concepts relevant to Slavery Studies; to enhance students’ knowledge of the histories of marginalized people; to challenge meanings of domination and resistance; to introduce understudied themes of early modern history; to critically analyse relevant theoretical and historiographical developments; to develop students’ methodological approaches for written and graphic primary sources; to enable them to formulate nuanced observations and conclusions in both written and oral presentations.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module students will have
1. demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of the complexity of slavery in the Americas.
2. enhanced their understanding of the practices and experiences of people and institutions of the long 19th century.
3. identified, synthesized, critiqued, and constructed advanced historical arguments
4. expressed a working proficiency in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to interrogate sources
5. strengthened their knowledge of the relevant historiographical debates and topical trends


This module may include the following topics: empire, slavery, class, laws, the Americas, the Caribbean, race, gender, religion, resistance, labour systems, the arts, mental health, family, and autobiography.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

3000-word essay: students will have the opportunity receive formative feedback on an essay plan in week 8 of the semester in which the module runs.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words60.00
Written Work1500 word primary source analysis40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:41:10


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019