Atlantic History Universities
Anna Groeben, Sarah Lentz, Claudia Schnurmann
  • LAST REVIEWED: 19 December 2012
  • LAST MODIFIED: 19 December 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0171


From the 16th century on, European powers carried their concepts into the Atlantic world. One of the most important institutions transferred early on from the Old to the New World was the university. In the beginning, the development of the system of higher learning in North America, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean was influenced by Europe and European colonial legacies. Once the university systems had been successfully established, a more balanced transfer across the Atlantic was effectuated. It embraced ideas and structures as well as people. In the 20th century this transfer remained prosperous. Still, the former colonies took a strong stance in shaping the discourse on modern higher education. The primary goal of this bibliography is to provide students and researchers with an overview of the current state of scholarship by including only works published between 1990 and 2010. This approach corresponds with the emergence of Atlantic history as an accepted field of study. As becomes obvious in the General Overviews section, universities as a research object have not been satisfyingly examined within an Atlantic context. Thus, this section is organized in geographical terms, offering research on Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. In addition to a listing of Encyclopedias and Bibliographies and Journals, sections on Comparative Studies, Transfer, and Gender reveal efforts made to introduce transnational approaches within the discipline. This bibliography is and must be selective. Its strength lies in presenting a thorough introduction to American and European educational issues. Nevertheless, special effort has been put into the section on African universities as they have received less attention than other educational institutions within the Atlantic community.

General Overviews

At this point, a general overview of the development of universities in an Atlantic context does not exist. Thus works cited in this section reveal the history of university systems within the Atlantic realm (Europe, North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa).

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