Labor History

18th-century indenture contract, Wikimedia Commons

Transforming the US History Survey with a Focus on Labor in the Atlantic World

By Kimberly D. Hill

About three years ago, I realized I needed to reorganize the first few weeks of my early US history survey course. Following the 13 colonies-centered chronology of the textbook made the course seem too familiar to students and encouraged rote memorization. Still, I worried that too many changes would make the course difficult for freshmen and sophomores to navigate. The Bridging Cultures program gave me the confidence to embrace the challenge of teaching transnationally and offer students alternatives to the standard history texts and narratives.