Saturday University with Peter Shapinsky

The Pirate Archipelago: Images of Maritime Power in Late Medieval Japan

In East Asia in the sixteenth century, sea-lanes linking Japan to the rest of the world lay mainly under the control of seafarers who were labeled pirates in both East Asia and Europe. How did the imagery used to depict pirates relate to how they represented themselves? Shapinsky will discuss how the seafarers of medieval Japan sought to legitimize and expand their dominion over the sea-lanes, especially in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan's most important maritime trade artery.

About the Presenter:

Peter Shapinsky is Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Springfield, where he teaches East Asian history with a focus on maritime exchange, including pirates. His major interests include cartography, knowledge networks, and conceptualizations of space in 15th- and 16th-century East Asia; and early modern global networks of exchange and cross-cultural interaction. His course offerings include “From Vikings to Hackers: A Pirate’s World History.” His book Lords of the Sea: Pirates, Violence, and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan was published in 2014.

Saturday University is held in partnership with the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle University, and Elliott Bay Book Company.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 10:00am
Seattle Art Museum
1300 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101