Jan. 27 UT Honors Symposium explores “Pirates, Sailors and Coastal Identities in Early America”

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Before watching the annual pirate invasion of Tampa at the Gasparilla Pirate Festival on Saturday, come by The University of Tampa on Friday, Jan. 27, to learn more about those who lived and worked on the sea during the “Golden Age of Sailing.” Beginning at 4 p.m., Dan Walden, an associate professor of English at Baylor University, will speak on “A Hell of Our Own — Pirates, Sailors and Coastal Identities in Early America.” The event, which is part of the Honors Program symposia series, will be held in the Trustees Board Room on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center and is free and open to the public.

During the “Golden Age of Sailing,” from the late-1500s to the mid-1800s, those who lived and worked on the sea often were men without country. Though sailing on English, French, Spanish, Dutch and, later, American ships, the men who sailed the ocean developed unique language, music and traditions — a culture of the sea. And when those “sea men” came to shore, they quite often found themselves at odds with the larger terrestrial national cultures that sought to control them. In response, there rose a small intermediate space between land and sea — the coast — that offered sailors, privateers and pirates a place to “make a Hell of their own.”

At Baylor, Walden teaches classes on early American literature and culture. His research, which focuses on the intersection of maritime and terrestrial culture in America during the Golden Age of Sailing, has been published in Early American Literature, Atlantic Studies, Studies in American Fiction, The Nautilus and Southern Literary Journal, among others. His current book project, Between Two Worlds: The Coast in Early American Literature, examines the representation and significance of coastal environments in American literature from the 17th to the mid-19th centuries.

For more information, contact the Honors Program at (813) 257-3545 or honors@ut.edu.

The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 110 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves 8,310 students from 50 states and 140 countries. Approximately 65 percent of full-time students live on campus, and more than half of UT students are from Florida.



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