Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 am -12:20 pm

Dr. Susan Longfield Karr

Pirates, robbers, and tyrants: the common enemies of all mankind. Murder, treachery, deception, fraud, abduction, ambush, and seizure—that is how their actions are commonly characterized. But when these behaviors are exercised by states, they are justified through the language of necessity, security, and the common good. This invites the question: what distinguishes a pirate from an emperor, a robber from a rebel, or a tyrant from a ruler? This course explores these questions through the lens of resistance (against poverty, authority, patriarchy, feudalism, capitalism, and imperialism) on land and at sea across the globe from the early modern to the modern era.

Organized thematically some of the key issues to be addressed include the source and limits of sovereignty; the operations of state vs. private or civic power; the moral and practical effects of state vs. non-state violence; and definitions of law, crime, and resistance in early modern and modern societies. As a thematic course, we will move back and forth across time (early modern and modern eras) as well as across oceans, islands, continents, and empires.