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.

Marilyn Westerkamp
  • Title
    • Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
    • Stevenson College
  • Affiliations Feminist Studies Department, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Phone
    831-459-3427 (office)
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Stevenson College Academic Building, 273
  • Office Hours Spring 2020: Tuesdays 11:30-1:30 or by appointment, on Zoom; email to set up Zoom meeting
  • Mail Stop Stevenson Academic Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Gender Studies, US History, Religion and Secularism, Cultural Studies, Feminist Studies, Women's Studies
  • Courses HIS 10A, US History 1600-1877; HIS 13, Introduction to American Religious Culture; HIS 110A, Colonial America, 1500-1750; HIS 112, American Feminist Thought, 1750–1950; HIS 113C, Women and American Religious Culture; HIS 190P, Early American Society and Culture; HIS 204A, History of Gender Research Seminar; HIS 210A, Readings in U.S. History and the World; HIS 211 A/B, Readings/Research in Early American; HIS 265, History of the Body

Research Interests

British Colonial America; Early Modern Atlantic World; Early Modern Cultural and Religious History; World Missionary History; Women and Religion; Gender

Biography, Education and Training

B.A., Brandeis University
M.A., University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Selected Publications

  • Women and Religion in Early America 1600-1850: The Puritan and Evangelical Traditions. London and New York: Routledge, 1999.
  • "Engendering Puritan Religious Culture in Old and New England." Pennsylvania History 64 (1997), 105-22.
  • "Puritan Patriarchy and the Problem of Divine Revelation." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 23 (1993), 571-95.
  • "Anne Hutchinson, Sectarian Mysticism, and the Puritan Order." Church History, 59 (1990), 482-96.
  • Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening 1625-1760. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Teaching Interests

British Colonial America; US and the World; American Feminist Thought; History of Religions in the U.S.; Gender and History; History of the Body