Mariana-Cecilia VelazquezOct 23, 2023
Cultural Representations of Piracy in England, Spain, and the Caribbean
Travelers, Traders, and Traitors, 1570 to 1604
Mariana-Cecilia Velazquez's book Cultural Representations of Piracy in England, Spain, and the Caribbean: Travelers, Traders, and Traitors, 1570 to 1604 (Routledge, 2023) examines the concept of piracy as an instrument for the advancement of legal, economic, and political agendas associated with early modern imperial conflicts in the Caribbean. Drawing on historical accounts, literary texts, legal treatises, and maps, the book traces the visual and narrative representations of Sir Francis Drake, who serves as a case study to understand the various usages of the terms "pirate" and "corsair." Through a comparative analysis, the book considers the connotations of the categories related to maritime predation—pirate, corsair, buccaneer, and filibuster—and nationalistic and religious denominations—Lutheran, Catholic, heretic, Spaniard, English, and Creole—to argue that the flexible usage of these terms corresponds to unequal colonial and imperial relations and ideological struggles.
Jana Byars is an independent scholar located in Amsterdam.