Oakland University
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Students sail the Atlantic world with pirate course

By Carin Inglis, media relations intern

Pirate lovers and history buffs will unite this summer for the course HST 390: Special Topics in History, which will focus on Piracy in the Atlantic World. 

This course examines popular images of pirates and piracy while exploring historical sources and historians’ analyses to investigate the social, political, religious and economic motivations for piracy, as well as its role in the development of the Atlantic World. The topic of pirates and piracy appeals to the imagination with a rich set of images and sources to make those investigations. Another purpose of this course is to give a view of history that is not limited to national or continental boundaries. 

This four credit course is intended for both history majors and non-majors alike, who have completed WRT 160 or an equivalent course. The fascinating subject makes this an ideal course for those who are new to history. 

While the course focuses on the interesting and colorful journeys of pirates in the Atlantic, the broader, underlying focus is the concept of unity in the continents of North America, South America, Europe and Africa, and how the Atlantic world brings those continents together.

“This teaches students how to look at the evidence and find the underlying arguments,” said George Milne, assistant professor of history.

Students will watch a number of contemporary and classic films in the course, including "The Seahawk," "Captain Blood," or "Treasure Island," and the recent favorite, "Pirates of the Caribbean." Such films can provide cultural and mythic anchors for the study of history. 

“We want students to look at movies and media through different eyes,” said Dr. Milne. “Yes, we want students to walk away with the facts about the Atlantic world, but we also want them to look at popular media and be able to pull out the historical elements.”

For more information on this course, contact Dr. Milne at (248) 370-3530 or at milne@oakland.edu.

To learn more about summer courses at OU, visit oakland.edu/summer or watch the video below.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.  

HST 390: Piracy in the Atlantic World examines popular images of pirates while exploring historic, social, political, religious and economic motivations.

Created by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Modified by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article Start Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013