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HISTORY 2HI3 HistoricalInquiry

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Juanita DeBarros

Email: debarr@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 602

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24149


Office Hours: Thursdays, 2:30-3:30

Course Objectives:

From Marcus Garvey to Bob Marley: Migration and Caribbean Lives in the 20th Century

Course Description: This course aims to teach students how to conduct historical research through investigating the topic of Caribbean migration in the 20th century.  Specifically, the course will explore the experiences of Caribbean migrants who travelled to the United States, Great Britain, and Canada in the twentieth century to see what this subject can tell us about popular culture (such as music), politics, and social patterns in both the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora.  It starts with a question: “What was the impact Caribbean migration?  Students will learn how to develop other, related research questions and explore various primary and secondary sources to answer them.  They will also learn how to disseminate the results of their research by developing written and oral presentation skills.

Course Objectives:

  1. Learn how to conduct library and on-line research and use and evaluate primary sources 
  2. Learn how to critically read scholarly articles and evaluate historical debates
  3. Learn how to pose a good research question and how to write a history essay
  4. Develop verbal communication skills

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

1. Coursepack

2. Lara Putnam, Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2013.

Method of Assessment:

COURSE ASSIGNMENTS (details are on-line)

Participation (and participation assessments)


Critical Reading: Historiography Assignment

Due: February 10



Research Skills: Finding and Evaluating Sources/Connecting Primary and Secondary Sources

Due: March 3


Visual Sources Assignment

Due: March 17


Oral Project Proposal Presentation

Dates are listed below in the Schedule of Readings and Discussion


Written Project Proposal

Due: March 31


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Submission and Late Policies: Include your name and student number, the course name/number, and my name on the title page of your assignments.  Submit the assignment in person at the start of class on the day it is due.  Do not leave any written work under my office door as I can not guarantee that I will receive it.  Do not submit written work by email or fax as it will not be accepted.  If you submit your assignments in the History department drop box, you do so at your own risk.  You should keep a photocopy of all your written work;  you must also keep your research notes and rough drafts for your essays as you may be required to hand them in.  Failure to do so may result in a zero for the assignment.   

Assignments not submitted in the class on the day they are due will be considered late and penalized at 5% a day. (Weekends count as one day.)

Participation summaries must be handed in the class in which they are due.  Late summaries will not be accepted.

Extensions or Accommodations:

Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation.  Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/  . Please note that MSAF’s will not be accepted after the assignment deadline.

If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office.  In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Why the Caribbean and Why Migration?

Read: Putnam, “Introduction,” chapters 1 and 2

Themes and Sources for the History of Migration


Read: Putnam, chapters 3, 4, and 5.

Historiography and the History of Caribbean Migration


Read: Putnam, chapter 6 and conclusion.

Spalding, Roger and Christopher Parker. “The Essay and Historiography,” in Historiography: An Introduction, edited by Spalding and Parker, 55-77. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007.

Rush, Anne. “Reshaping British History: The Historiography of West Indians in Britain in the Twentieth Century.” History Compass 5, no. 1 (January 2007): 463-484.

History on-line

Read:  Sorkin, Andrew Ross. “So, Bill Gates has this Idea for a History Class….” New York Times Magazine, September 5, 2014.

Roy Rosenzweig, “Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past,” in Essays on History and New Media http://chnm.gmu.edu/essays-on-history-new-media/essays/?essayid=42

Campbell, Stephen W. “Improving Wikipedia: Notes from an Informed Sceptic.” Perspectives on History (May, 2014).

Standford University Spatial History Project http://web.stanford.edu/group/spatialhistory/cgi-bin/site/page.php?id=1


Primary Sources: The Voices of Migrants?                 

Read: Schwartz, Bill. “Introduction: Crossing the Seas.” In West Indian Intellectuals in Britain, edited by Bill Schwartz, 1-30.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003.

BBC History. Windrush Arrivals.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/arrival_01.shtml. Read the narratives of these individuals. What do they tell us?

Anne Rubenstein, “Newspapers,” in World History Sources http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/unpacking/newsmain.html

David Trask, “Official Documents,” in World History Sources http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/unpacking/docsmain.html

Beverly Mack, “Personal Accounts,” in World History Sources http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/unpacking/acctsmain.html

Jerry Bentley, “Travel Narratives,” in World History Sources http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/unpacking/travelmain.html

Primary Sources: Visual Sources

Read: The National Archives. “Patrick Vernon OBE: Reflections on Caribbean through a Lens.”


flickr Caribbean https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalarchives/collections/72157630635006206/

The Telegraph. “In Pictures: The Windrush Generation.”


“Photographs and Audio Materials,” Louise Bennett Coverley, ‘Miss Lou’ Fonds, http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/islandora%3A71

Irene Bierman, “Material Culture/Images,” in World History Sources http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/unpacking/imagesmain.html

Daniel Waugh, “Material Culture/Objects,” in World History Sources http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/unpacking/objectsmain.html

Primary Sources: Popular Music


Clinton Hutton, “Oh Rudie: Jamaican Popular Culture and the Narrative of Urban Badness in the Making of Postcolonial Society,” Caribbean Quarterly 56, no. 4 (2010): 22-64.

Erna Brodber, "Black Consciousness and Popular Music in Jamaica in the 1960s and 1970s.” The New West Indian Guide 61, no. 3/4 (1987): 145-160.

Joseph Heathcott, "Urban Spaces and Working-class Expressions across the Black Atlantic: Tracing the Roots of Ska. Radical History Review, 87 (2003): 183-206.

“Burning Spears: Marcus Garvey”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeO9tgMPF6w

Desmond Dekker and the Aces, “The Israelites,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxtfdH3-TQ4

Migration to Canada

Read: Marano, Carla. “‘Rising Strongly and Rapidly’: The Universal Negro Improvement Association in Canada, 1919-1940.” The Canadian Historical Review 91, no. 2 (June, 2010): 233-259.

Toney, Jared G. "Locating Diaspora: Afro-Caribbean Narratives of Migration and Settlement in Toronto, 1914-1929." Urban History Review/Revue D'histoire Urbaine 38, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 75-87.

Schultz, John. “White Man’s Country: Canada and the West Indian Immigrant, 1900-1965.” American Review Of Canadian Studies 12, no. 1 (Spring 1982): 53-64.