Lecture on Female Pirates at the Irish Cultural Center this Sunday August 29th at 7:00 PM

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The violent world of the Colonial West Indies was generally conceived in male terms: pirates and privateers, sea battles between Europe’s imperial powers, emancipated Maroon slave communities led by men…but the Early Modern Caribbean was the scene of some of the most famous female buccaneers in history. Their names: Anne Bonny, Mary Reade, and countless others, as well as their Old World predecessors, such as the Irish women pirates who fought, and made a truce with, Elizabeth Tudor, open up a new field for Renaissance, New World, and gender research. Women sailed the seas and commanded male crews; led slave revolts and gave the newly freed persons equal status on their pirate ships, and challenged imperial might. The Victorian re-write of history relegated these women to a side-role, due to their “harsh” characters; but modern day West Indian writers and historians are reclaiming them as their own. The female pirates of the Caribbean constitute an important chapter in the maritime history of the Early Modern period, and in the development of race relations in the Colonial Americas.

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