social inequities via capitalist production W r i t i n g
Final PAPER prompts (choose one!!!!):
PROMPT A: Pirates & the Economy
Take a position in response to the following statement and produce an analysis that argues in favor of your thesis: “While some readings have theorized that pirates are social bandits who respond to social inequities via capitalist production, others have suggested that pirates’ relationship to capitalism is self-serving and therefore more closely mirrors venture capitalists.”
Your paper should focus on theories of piracy in relation to the economy and may pull from any unit(s) in the course. Ensure your thesis and introduction argue a clearly stated position that not only agrees or disagrees, but also addresses the “why?” Why do you agree or disagree? By drawing from concepts, themes, and/or arguments from the course material, your thesis should be specific and build the foundation for your paper’s analysis.
PROMPT B: Contemporary Piracy
Throughout the course, we have explored how piracy has shifted over time, space, and place. Selecting ONE type of contemporary piracy (maritime piracy, biopiracy, music piracy, intellectual piracy, OR information/data piracy), produce an analysis that answers this two-part prompt: “1) Within this form of contemporary piracy, who is a pirate and why? 2) How does this form of piracy compare to piracy during the Golden Age?”
You may pull from any unit(s) as evidence. Try your best to distribute a relatively even amount of analysis between the two parts of this question, although the “who?” in part one can be brief to focus on the “why.” The question of, “Why?” can be interpreted as any of the following that most closely fits the argument you wish to make:
“Why should we consider this social actor a pirate?”;
“What key events, ideas, and/or conditions led to this form of piracy?”; and/or:
“What are the key motivating factors for these types of pirates?”
PROMPT C: Pirates & Identity
“Pirates of the Golden Age are theorized as transgressive, within the margins of society, and rebellious against societal norms; this is further complicated through factors that informed one’s individual experiences on pirate ships, such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexuality.”
Craft an analysis that reflects on the bolded statement, as well as how any 1-2* of the underlined factors were treated during the Golden Age of Piracy. Your thesis may take any position you’d like, but should be specific in argument and scope. A strong analysis focuses on the argument you are building, but should also briefly address a counterargument and/or critique that could be made about the narratives presented; this can be brief or extensive, so long as it is present, and should cite your selected readings and/or the lectures.
* It is suggested that you limit yourself in scope to focus on just one or two factors of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and/or sexuality. While all factors of identity are important, consider how you are being asked to produce a strong, cohesive analysis and therefore should not try to tackle too many topics at once.