Call for Proposals

Renowned academics, including Kris Lane, have employed the term “Piracy Studies” to denote a set of scholarly tendencies that have yet to cohere as a defined area of inquiry with clear objectives. Likewise, the interdisciplinary quality of the field has been asserted, but not fully theorized. While such a potential field of study is not limited to the Early Modern Hispanic world, scholars of colonial and nineteenth-century Latin America have taken particular interest in the potential for Piracy Studies to open vibrant new lines of inquiry. At the 2019 Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in Boston, a group of researchers convened to begin asking questions about how to define Piracy Studies, as well as how to position their own work within this emerging field.* We will continue and expand this conversation at our first event, the inaugural Piracy Studies conference, to be held February 28-29, 2020, at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville. 

We invite proposals from scholars at all levels, and especially graduate students, for twenty-minute presentations that address any aspect of the intersections between piracy and the history and culture of Latin America in the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries. We seek to create dialogue among researchers who work from different disciplinary perspectives and who employ diverse methodologies. Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to, cartography, navigation, literature, marginal identities, archives on piracy, and maritime empires or societies. Proposals (250 words maximum, in Spanish or English) should be submitted to Clayton McCarl ( and Mariana-Cecilia Velázquez ( by one of the following dates:

Priority deadline: August 10, 2019. Those submitting proposals by this date will receive notification by August 20. We have placed courtesy holds on rooms at several small historic hotels and bed and breakfasts in St. Augustine that will expire on September 1, so those meeting this early deadline may be able to take advantage of these arrangements.

Regular deadline: October 15, 2019. 

The keynote speakers at this conference will be:

Kris Lane, France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History, Tulane University, and general editor, Colonial Latin American Review 

María Ximena Urbina Carrasco, professor, Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, and member of the Chilean Academy of History

All presentations will take place on the UNF campus on Friday, February 28, with an optional group dinner in St. Augustine that evening. On Saturday, February 29, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in organized visits to historical and cultural sites related to piracy in St. Augustine and the surrounding area. Participation in the conference itself on Friday will be free, but some costs related to admissions fees and group transportation, etc., may be associated with the optional events on Friday evening and Saturday.

*This collective, the Grupo de Estudio Internacional “Piratería de la Edad Moderna Temprana,” is independent of LASA and open to participation by scholars at all levels, including graduate students (, #estudios-de-pirateria).