Playful Subversions: Hollywood Pirates Plunder Spanish America


  • Nina Gerassi-Navarro Mount Holyoke College


The figure of the pirate evokes a number of distinct and contrasting images: from a fearless daredevil seeking adventure on the high seas to a dangerous and cruel plunderer moved by greed. Owing obedience to no one and loyal only to those sharing his way of life, the pirate knows no limits other than the sea and respects no laws other than his own. His portrait is both fascinating and frightening. As a hero, he is independent, audacious, intrepid and rebellious. Defying society's rules and authority, sailing off to the unknown in search of treasures, fearing nothing, the pirate is the ultimate symbol of freedom. But he is also a dangerous outlaw, known for his violent tactics and ruthless assaults. The social code he lives by inspires enormous fear, for it is extremely rigid and anyone daring to disobey the rules will suffer severe punishments. These polarized images have captured the imagination of historians and fiction writers alike.

Biografía del autor/a

Nina Gerassi-Navarro, Mount Holyoke College

NINA GERASSI-NAVARRO is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Italian of Mount Holyoke College. Her most recent work, Pirate Novels: Fictions of Nation Building in Spanish America, is forthcoming from Duke University Press, Correspondence: Nina Gerassi- Navarro, Department of Spanish and Italian, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA, 01075-6432. Email: