Americas and Africa

The Americas and Africa caucus invites students to explore the complex history of intercultural encounter, exchange, and conflict that connects South, Central, and North America and the diverse nations of Africa. Courses in this concentration locate these regions within larger global movements of people, goods, and ideas. Major topical themes in the concentration include Indigenous history, African diaspora, immigration, gender, labor, religion, social movements, politics, and critical history of race. Courses in this concentration extend from the colonial era to the modern day and reflect interdisciplinary approaches to historical practice.


Major Requirements

The history major requires a minimum of 12 unique courses. At least eight of the 12 courses must be upper-division (HIS 100-199). A maximum of four courses, including the introductory survey course, may be lower-division (HIS 1-99).

Region of Concentration: Americas and Africa (6 courses)

I. One lower-division introductory survey course:

All of the above courses satisfy the Ethnicity and Race (ER) general education requirement.

II. Four additional Americas and Africa courses, three of which must be upper-division

III. One Americas and Africa Comprehensive Requirement

Historical Skills and Methods (1 course)

IV. HIS 100, Historical Skills and Methods

HIS 100 introduce history majors to historical methods and provides preparation for advanced historical research. Students develop critical reading, historical analysis, research, and disciplinary writing skills. HIS 100 also satisfies the Textual Analysis and Interpretation (TA) general education requirement.

Students who enter UCSC as frosh are expected to complete HIS 100 by the end of their second year. Transfer students are expected to complete HIS 100 no later than their second term at UCSC.

Catalog of Course Requirements

The History Catalog of Course Requirements indicates what region(s) of concentration and what chronological distribution requirement(s) individual history courses may apply toward.

Breadth Requirements (4 courses)

V. Two courses from each of the remaining two regions of concentration:

Upper-Division Elective (1 course)

One additional upper-division history course of your choice from any of the three regions of concentration

Distribution Requirements

Of the 12 courses required for the major, at least three must meet chronological distribution requirements. One must be set before 600 C.E., and two must be set in periods prior to the year 1800 C.E.

Intensive Major Option

The intensive history major offers students a pathway to enrich their study of history, refine their skills in writing and research, and receive a designation on their transcripts that signals their ambition and accomplishment to potential employers and graduate schools. All history majors are eligible to declare the intensive track, including junior transfers. If a student attempts but does not complete the intensive track they may still graduate with a standard history degree, provided the appropriate major coursework has been completed.

Gregory E. O'Malley
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Affiliations Stevenson College, Cowell College, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Legal Studies, Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
    831-459-1426 (office), 831-459-2555 (message)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Stevenson College Academic Building, 220 Stevenson College
  • Office Hours Fall 2020: Mondays, 2:00-4:00 PM via Zoom (please email me for a Zoom link!)
  • Mail Stop Stevenson Academic Services
  • Mailing Address
    • Stevenson Academic Services; 1156 Hight St.
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Slavery, African Diaspora, Atlantic World, History, Race, African American / Black Studies, World History, Digital Humanities, US History
  • Courses HIS 2B, The World Since 1500; HIS 110B, Revolutionary America, 1740-1815; HIS 111, Popular Conceptions of Race in U.S. History, 1600-Present; HIS 116, Slavery Across the Americas; HIS 158C, Slavery in the Atlantic World: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives; HIS 190X, History of the Atlantic World, 1492-1824; HIS 190Y, The Atlantic Slave Trade; HIS 202, Practicing World History (Graduate Seminar); HIS 210A, The US and the World, to 1877 (Graduate Seminar); HIS 211, Readings and Research in Early American History (Graduate Seminar)

Research Interests

colonial British America and the Caribbean; the Atlantic world; slavery and the slave trade

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2006
M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 2003
B.A., Boston University, 1999

Honors, Awards and Grants

Edna and Norman Freehling Fellowship, 2016, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant, 2016, National Endowment for the Humanities

Morris D. Forkosch Book Prize, 2015, given by the American Historical Association for British, British imperial, or British Commonwealth history

James A. Rawley Book Prize, 2015, given by the American Historical Association for Atlantic History

Owsley Award, 2015, given by the Southern Historical Association to "a distinguished book in southern history.”

Elsa Goveia Book Prize, 2013-2014, given biennially by the Association of Caribbean Historians

Adair Award 2012 ("given biennially to the best article published in the William and Mary Quarterly during the preceding six years.")

Omohundro Institute of Early American Histoy and Culture, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2011)

American Council of Learned Societies, Oscar Handlin Fellow (2010)

Cappon Award (for "best article" in the William & Mary Quarterly, 2009)

Selected Presentations

"Ask Historians" Reddit AMA, on the Atlantic Slave Trade, Oct. 19, 2015