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Atlantic World

Hampton Court
Hampton Court

While the concept Atlantic history resists precise definition, most scholars agree that it involves the study of the interactions and interrelations between peoples and cultures around the Atlantic rim (including South America and the Caribbean, North America, Africa, Europe, and the islands of the Atlantic Ocean).  The aim is to both build on and transcend the nation as the central unit of historical analysis by treating the Atlantic Ocean as a single analytical field.  In so doing, the Atlantic model seeks not to homogenize and reduce, but rather to bring into relief the intricate complexities of the region.  Atlanticists use the methodologies of both connective and comparative history to investigate intercultural contact, exchange, and conflict, focusing on key themes such as exploration, imperialism, capitalism, and migration (forced and voluntary).

The Department of History at the University of Florida offers excellent opportunities for studying Atlantic history. While most programs in Atlantic history focus on the “colonial” period, from the 1490s through the 1830s, a number of scholars, including several at UF, are currently probing the viability of the Atlantic approach for the later nineteenth and twentieth century.


Fernanda Bretones Lane (Caribbean, slavery)
Max Deardorff (Early modern Spanish empire)
Matthew Gallman (19th Century US)
Jessica Harland-Jacobs (modern Britain, British empire, imperialism
Philip Janzen (Africa and the Caribbean)
Sheryl Kroen (modern France, Europe)
Jeffrey Needell (modern Latin America, Brazil)
Susan O’Brien (Africa, religion)
Jon Sensbach (early America, religion, Black Atlantic)

Mulatos de Esmeraldas (1559)
Mulatos de Esmeraldas (1559)



The University of Florida boasts outstanding collections in Latin American and Caribbean history.

Faculty and graduate students in the Department of History are closely involved in the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies.

The department regularly offers graduate seminars in Atlantic history, MA students conduct research on Atlantic topics, and PhD students may pursue a minor field in Atlantic history.

Graduate Seminars

AMH 5930 The Black Atlantic
AMH 6198 Early American Society
EUH 5546 Topics in British History
EUH 5934 Topics in European History: Imperialism
EUH 5934 Topics in European History: Atlantic Exchanges
HIS 5450 Slavery in the New World
LAH 5438 Modern Mexico
LAH 5476 Caribbean History to 1800
LAH 5607 History of Amazonia
LAH 5637 Brazil since 1750
LAH 5933 Topics in Caribbean History
LAH 6934 Colonial Spanish America
LAH 5934 The Iberian Atlantic
LAH 6936 Seminar in the History of Brazil