Sierra Leone in the atlantic world: Concepts, contours, and exchange

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Underscoring the unique potential that this region has for the study of the African Diaspora, this article situates the slave trading fort on Bunce Island and the Sierra Leone hinterland in the wider context of Atlantic history. In doing so it underscores the need to view Atlantic exchanges within their specific cultural and historical settings, and to place them within the maritime Atlantic and capitalist world economies. The article further considers the conceptual and methodological challenges faced in tracing African continuities in the Diaspora and in evaluating change in African societies during the period of the Atlantic trade. Bunce Island's history and the trade relations represented present one of the better opportunities to delineate the paths through which enslaved Africans were brought to the Americas. This article examines the specific connections between this portion of Upper Guinea Coast and South Carolina. The importance of an interdisciplinary approach incorporating archaeological data in both the reconstruction of Africa's past and in providing a context for enslaved Africans in the Diaspora is underscored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-316
Number of pages21
JournalAtlantic Studies : Global Currents
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • Atlantic history
  • Sierra Leone
  • West African archaeology
  • West African history
  • slave trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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