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This subject will investigate a very old phenomenon: maritime raiding, or 'piracy'. The subject will concentrate on the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries when sea raiding activity interacted across the world system, but particularly in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic/West Indies. Students will address issues of how different definitions of piracy and corsairing have arisen in international law, the social economic and political motivations underlying sea-raiding and the relationship between pirates and other individual sea-raiders and the state, and efforts at control, both by the victims and by state action. It will also examine the personal social and sexual strategies that pirates adopted. We will also examine the ways in which pirates have been presented in fiction and film and the uses to which popular culture has put the phenomenon of piracy.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject should be able to:
- understand the development of piracy in terms of its practitioners, victims and suppressors and the modern implications of this;
- construct an evidence-based argument or narrative in digital, visual and written forms through competent use of the library and other information sources;
- understand the use of contemporary sources in contributing to a modern understanding of the subject using critical thinking and analysis; and
- undertake oral communication and classroom collaboration.
Last updated: 16 June 2020