watercolor of a slave ship, 5 crew members with multiple enslaved persons crowded on the deck. A Portuguese flag flies & an outline of another ship is in the background.

Credit: Lieutenant Henry Samuel Hawker, The Portuguese slaver Diligente captured by H.M. Sloop Pearl with 600 slaves on board, taken in charge to Nassau, May 1838. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Resource Description

This series of modules approaches 'ships' and 'boats' as material and metaphor for thinking about migratory experiences and the movement of peoples, goods, and commodities, as they relate to the idea of modernity on a local, transnational, and planetary scale. The modules focus on literary, visual, and cinematic representations of ships and boats as a basis for engaging in comparative work.

Christopher Columbus standing next to a rock with 2 men behind him. One is holding a cross.

Credit: Landing of Christopher Columbus by David Edwin. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation, is licensed under CC0.

Resource Description

This module enables students to reflect critically and in an historically informed way on how Christopher Columbus has come to signify both belonging and exclusion in the United States. The two-week module explores four discrete themes: colonization, focusing on the four voyages and their immediate consequences; the mythical female figure of Columbia in the U.S.; the creation and circulation of Columbus as an Italian American icon; and the recent protests and debates concerning statues and other commemorative images and rituals.