Introduction: Africa in the Atlantic World

Edmond Smith, Richard Blakemore (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Atlantic history has become an influential scholarly paradigm over the past few decades, especially for historians of the early modern period. Its many advocates claim that the idea of an “Atlantic world” enables us to break down boundaries, connecting what might otherwise be seen as disparate regions or isolated historical subjects, and encouraging the study of interactions around the ocean beyond the confines of a single nation or empire.1 While globally-minded critics have in turn accused Atlanticists of constructing barriers between this ocean and the rest of the world, the circuits of communication and exchange which were forged across the Atlantic—and their lasting consequences—remain an engaging subject for historians.2 In spite of its limitations, Atlantic history demands that historians seek out and understand these connections and relationships. It is therefore a uniting theme, but one which encompasses a broad range of topics, as demonstrated by the essays collected here.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2015


  • africa
  • atlantic world
  • history


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