Profs & Pints Charlottesville: How Pirates Changed the World-SOLD OUT

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Monday, January 29 2024 5:30 PM 8:00 PM EDT

This talk has sold out in advance and no door tickets will be available.

Profs and Pints Charlottesville presents: “How Pirates Changed the World,” with Joshua M. White, associate professor of history at the University of Virginia and author of Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean.

Piracy has existed for as long as humans have taken to the sea. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, however, maritime violence flourished across the globe as never before, with the Mediterranean Sea being its epicenter.

Gain a deep understanding of the piracy of this period—and why it mattered so much—with Professor Joshua White, a scholar of Mediterranean history who teaches courses on Mediterranean pirates and on the ethics of piracy.

He’ll discuss what caused the explosion of piracy in the Mediterranean and talk about how those engaged in it operated.  He’ll talk in depth about how small-time pirates infested the islands and coves, lying in wait for prizes, while seasoned, licensed professionals known as corsairs prowled the seas for cargo and captives on behalf of kings, sultans, and their respective religious faiths.

What did they do with their booty? What was life like on board a pirate galley, both for the crew and for the men chained to the oars? We’ll tackle those questions.

You’ll learn the origin stories and exploits of some of the most notorious corsairs—like Hayreddin Barbarossa, John Ward, and Alonso de Contreras—and how corsairing turned Algiers and Malta into massive centers of human trafficking. They became notorious as places where Christian, Muslim, and Jewish captives awaited ransom or lives of servitude.

Professor White will talk about how piracy left its mark on the political geography of the coasts, drove the development of international law, and provided the pretext for imperial expansion by Spain, the Ottoman Empire, Britain, and France. Maritime violence also mobilized the rhetoric of intractable religious conflict, popularized new genres of literary expression, transformed trade networks, and led hundreds of thousands into lives of captivity. So profound was its impact that its legacy is still with us today. (Tickets must be purchased in advance at $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. No door tickets are available. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)

Image: Fighting between Algerian pirates and British sailors as depicted by John Fairburn (National Maritime Museum of Britain / Wikimedia Commons.)