AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: TOWARDS A GENERAL THEORY OF PIRACY
Author: SHANNON DAWDY (University of Chicago)   
Date/Time: Fri., 11:00 AM
Co-Author(s): SHANNON DAWDY (University of Chicago) 
Abstract: The classic early modern Caribbean pirate has been enjoying a revival in the popular imagination, as seen in everything from skull-and-crossbones street fashion to Disney films. However, the pirate trope extends beyond, and in many cases works against, corporate interests, as in the recent Pirate Bay file-sharing case in Europe or in postcolonial protests against 'biopiracy.' Meanwhile, the resurgence of maritime piracy in places like Somalia and Indonesia feeds discourses about failed states, economic rights, and lawlessness. So the question needs to be begged: What, if anything, links the classic Caribbean pirate to the contemporary phenomena of intellectual piracy, biopiracy, and "tanker" piracy, and are these latter-day phenomena in any way connected to one another? I argue that there is more than poetics or ill-advised romance at work. Compelling parallels exist between the early modern conditions that produced Blackbeard and today's world of late capitalist incursions and shifting sovereignties.

Program Number: 3-0220
Session Title: HOT TRADE: FRONTIERS AND FRICTION IN PAST ECONOMIES
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN FRANKLIN (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SHANNON DAWDY (University of Chicago)  
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