page1image3640Pirates: Fact, Fiction, & History

Learn about pirates with Professor Mark Hanna!

Yale Alumni College (YACOL) has, since 2012, delighted Yale alumni, their families, and their friends, with intellectual and social engagement in multiple cities around the country. Now we are proud to announce that YACOL finally comes to San Diego! Yale-trained faculty – active and emeritus – have offered seminar courses, typically 6 weekly sessions at convenient times, in a wide range of areas of study. Most attendees return for subsequent courses, and the level of satisfaction has been extraordinary. With a maximum class size of only 25 students, these courses tend to fill up quickly – and our inaugural San Diego YACOL seminar will likely be no exception – so become a founding YACOL alumni-scholar and register before it’s too late!

Course Description:

A fascinating introduction to the history of pirates and piracy, from early days to the present, this intimate seminar will also introduce participants to the way historians conduct their archival work. In addition to weekly on-campus class sessions at UCSD, we will visit the incredible Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, which includes first editions of every significant 17th and 18th century print text on piracy housed in UCSD’s Special Collections Library. We will explore original manuscripts of ships’ logbooks from the Age of Sail. We are also planning a special guided tour of the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the amazing San Salvador galleon replica. Class sessions will include such topics as the “golden age” of piracy, and how historians work with complicated sources that are often biased, blend fact and fiction, or present contradictory information. We will apply what we learn from piracy’s “golden age” to the rise of modern piracy off the coasts of Africa and in the Straits of Malacca. Professor Hanna is one of the world’s leading experts on the history of piracy and this will be a unique and remarkable opportunity to explore these fascinating topics in some depth and with real insight.


Mark Hanna is Associate Professor of History whose work focuses on piracy, smuggling, and other illicit activities in early America and the British Empire. He was recently the winner of the UC San Diego Academic Senate Distinguished Teacher Award and is also the Honorary Curator of the Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages in UC San Diego’s Special Collections Library and recently the Endowed Chair of Maritime History at the San Diego Maritime Museum. Hanna is the founding Associate Director of the Institute of Arts and Humanities initiated this summer at UCSD. His first book, Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740 (UNC Press, 2015), analyzes the rise and subsequent fall of international piracy from the perspective of colonial hinterlands. The book explores the often overt support of sea marauders in maritime communities from the

inception of England's burgeoning empire in the 1570s to its administrative consolidation by the 1740s.


Class Sessions:

90-minute class sessions, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., each Wednesday evening for six weeks, beginning Thursday, October 13 and ending on Wednesday, November 16. Only the first session will be held on Thursday, October 13, rather than on our usual Wednesdays, in observance of Yom Kippur.

Held on-campus, except for field trips, at UC San Diego, La Jolla, in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building. Easy nearby parking will be arranged for on-campus sessions.

Weekly preparation will typically include readings of approximately 100 pages per week, and class participation in stimulating roundtable discussion seminars.


Course Fee: $395


Who Can Enroll? Yale alumni, their families and friends.


Questions? Contact Steve Tomlin, Yale College BA 1983, at or at (619) 459-8148

Enrollment Extremely Limited, Register Now!