We are happy to welcome new LLI instructor, David Head, Ph.D., to our program this fall. Dr. Head teaches history at the University of Central Florida and will present “Revolutionary Rogues: The Spanish American Pirates and Privateers Who Tried to Conquer Florida,” on Monday, Nov. 19 at 12 p.m. To register for this one-time lecture, click here.
Hello Lifelong Learners,
I’m new to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute this year, and I thought I’d share a bit about my recent work. I teach history at UCF in Orlando, usually the large intro lecture courses on U.S. history or western civilization. I love the challenge of reaching students in these courses, which will probably be the only history courses they’ll take in college—and maybe the last formal instruction in history they’ll have for a long time.
My research focuses on two topics: pirates and George Washington—but NOT George Washington and pirates!
This summer I’ve made progress on both topics.
In June, a book of essays I edited was published by the University of Georgia Press. “The Golden Age of Piracy: The Rise, Fall, and Enduring Popularity of Pirates,” features chapters from the leading experts on Atlantic piracy in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. I wrote the introduction and conclusion.
I’m really proud to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented people. The book provides an overview of the development and suppression of piracy, how pirates organized their operations, and why pirates have been so popular for centuries.
To see a preview of the book, click here.
I am also working on a new book about George Washington’s leadership at the end of the American Revolution. In particular, I’m writing a history of the so-called Newburgh Conspiracy, a mysterious event in 1783 in which Continental Army officers, angry about a lack of pay and pensions, supposedly collaborated with politicians in Philadelphia, such as Alexander Hamilton, to use the army to help push for new taxes and a stronger central government.
Because of my research, I’m skeptical there was a real conspiracy. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating story about how the Revolution almost collapsed at the very end and how General Washington intervened to try and save the day.
Looking forward to speaking to you this fall!