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Pirates: Lifting the Jolly Roger in History and Popular Culture
Edited by Antonio Sanna

Since the times of their brutal aggressions to vessels journeying over the seven seas, pirates have firmly captured the imagination of writers, directors and producers all over the world and have elicited an incredible impact over contemporary culture. Pirates have been studied and represented by Daniel Defoe, Walter Scott, Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, but they have also appeared in the works of William Shakespeare, Ann Radcliffe and Lord Byron. Although their fictional representation is very different from the reality of the (either duller or more atrocious) actions that they actually committed, these eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers have modelled and defined the figure of the maritime outlaws that is still firmly impressed in our minds: expert mariners, bold hunters for treasures who were often obsessed with revenge, vulgar and ruthless predators roaming the coasts and the deep seas of the five continents. Cinema has equally invested in such a figure, from Albert Parker’s The Black Pirate (1926), Michael Curtiz’s The Black Hawk (1940) and Disney’s Treasure Island (1950) to the successful saga Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2017) – whose most recent instalment will be in cinemas in 2017 – and Shinji Aramaki’s Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2013). Nevertheless, the figure of the pirate has not been confined to these media and has freely roamed through theatre, the visual arts, manga, anime, video games and park rides, thus demonstrating its centrality in contemporary popular culture.

This anthology will explore the figure of the pirate from multidisciplinary perspectives. This volume seeks previously-unpublished essays that explore the heterogeneous representations of both historical figures and fictional characters. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the subject. There are indeed several themes worth exploring when analyzing the historical and fictional representation of pirates, utilizing any number of theoretical frameworks of your choosing. Contributions may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

Historical pirates (in the seven seas)
Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary pirates
Twentieth-century and contemporary representations of pirates in literature
Manga and anime
Pirates in the visual arts and on the stage
The Pirates of the Caribbean saga
Video games
Pirates and philosophy
Pirates and sea creatures (including monsters and mermaids)
Humour, Black Humour and the Macabre
Gender and queer readings
Alienation and misperception, conformity/nonconformity
Disfigurement, deformity and (dis)ability
Death and the afterlife
Adaptations, Remakes and Appropriations
Music in films on pirates
Fan practice and fan communities

The anthology will be organized into thematic sections around these topics and others that emerge from submissions. We are open to works that focus on other topics as well and authors interested in pursuing other related lines of inquiry. Feel free to contact the editor with any questions you may have about the project and please share this announcement with colleagues whose work aligns with the focus of this volume.

Submit a 300-500 word abstract of your proposed chapter contribution, a brief CV and complete contact information to Dr. Antonio Sanna ( by 1 March 2016. Full chapters of 4000-6000 words would be due by June/July 2017. Note: all full chapters submitted will be included subject to review.