Pirates and their Enemies

Subject HIST20072 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 29 hours – 12 x 1.5 hour lectures and 11 x 1 hour tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof Richard Pennell


Email: rpennell@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

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.

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.

  • A 2500 word web-based project due during the semester (70%)
  • A 1500 word take-home document exercise due in the examination period (30%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available on-line.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: http://shaps.unimelb.edu.au/history
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - History
Graduate Diploma in Arts - History

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