Nest of Pirates: Piracy and the Formalization of the First British Empire
On October 20 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Professor Mark G. Hanna will speak about “Nest of Pirates: Pirates and the Formalization of the First British empire” in the Seuss Room in the Geisel Library building.
Pirates are described in both popular culture and historical scholarship as inherently removed from civilized society–in rebellion with social norms and hierarchies. Lawyers of the seventeenth century certainly promoted this impression by defining pirates as hostis humani generis, enemies of mankind. This talk will describe how pirates during most of the early modern period were actually actively welcomed and supported on the peripheries of what would become the first British Empire. Contrary to our common perceptions, many pirates bought land, married local women, and even became members of the ruling elite in North American colonial communities.
Mark G. Hanna is an assistant professor of history at the University of California in San Diego. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture from the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2010. Professor Hanna received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2006. He received outside graduate fellowships from the Center for New World Comparative Studies at the John Carter Brown Library, the W. M. Keck Foundation at the Huntington Library, and postdoctoral fellowships from the Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund from the Harvard University Law School, a William Nelson Cromwell Fellowship from the American Society for Legal History, and an Arthur H. Cole Grant from the Economic History Association. Dr. Hanna’s dissertation, “The Pirate Nests: The Impact of Piracy on Newport and Charles Town, 1670-1730,” not only challenges prevailing interpretations of piracy; it also uses the phenomenon of piracy to illuminate the history of early America in the Atlantic World. His research is quintessentially multidisciplinary, with a legal historical base grounded in the Navigation Acts, early trials from the Admiralty courts, and shipping records; an interdisciplinary historical analysis of the economic underpinnings, social networks, and political support of pirate activity on land and sea; and the cultural nuance of print culture, both the literary world of historical fiction and the more ephemeral rough-and-tumble of early newspapers.
No RSVP. Refreshments will be served!
Swing by at 12:00 pm on October 20th, to hear Scott Paulson from the Arts Library play pirate tunes on the carillon!