Pirate History Class Popular At TU

Thursday, March 1st 2007, 10:42 am
By: News On 6

The wildly popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies have lead to a resurgence of interest in pirates in general. That popularity has lead to a course on pirates at the University of Tulsa. Captain Hook would be so proud.

It's enough to get News On 6’ Rick Wells' interest up, so he hoisted the Jolly Roger and headed for TU. Rick Wells reports Pirates of the Caribbean have brought pirates to life again.

Captain Jack Sparrow has renewed an interest in Black Beard, Captain Kidd and other real life pirates of the 16th and 17th centuries. "Pirates sort of took up the slack in helping to distribute goods and services," says Andrew Wood PhD. So they performed a service facilitating trade between enemy countries, kind of an end run around the rules.

Andrew Wood is an associate Professor of History at TU and has created a class on pirates in the Atlantic World and Beyond. The class is always full. The students in the class are excited about the course and the subject matter. Rick Wells didn't know what to expect, but the class is a serious history class with reading assignments from 5 textbooks, four papers to write and an end of semester presentation. "If you study the action of pirates and the history of piracy, you study the history of the world at that time." And there are all those pirate movies. The class watches those movies too. "That's what it is for me in watching the movies is comparing what's fictional and what's true."

Pirates of the Atlantic World and Beyond is not offered every semester at TU, you have to check the schedule.