Jean-Marc Hill

PhD Candidate in Oceanic and Maritime History
Jean-Marc Hill

I am a PhD Candidate researching a project tentatively titled 'Subjecthood and National Identity among the 'Imaginary' and 'Real' Pirates of a 'Golden Age', 1692-1726', under the supervision of Dr. Hank Gonzalez. This doctoral project constitutes an examination of ‘Golden Age’ piracy (1692-1726), through the thematic lens of the pirate as the extra-national other. It considers the theme of subjecthood in three distinct geographical regions. The first half of the project considers the activities of pirates in the Indian Ocean (1692-1705), as well as the emergence of these pirates within popular consciousness and the public sphere of Britain (1692-1716). Meanwhile, the second half of the project examines the influence of the cultural representations and depictions of Indian Ocean pirates in Britain and America (1716-1726).

I received my BA in Ancient History and History (First Class, 2018) from the University of Reading, and my MA in History (Distinction, 2020) from the University of Exeter. My undergraduate dissertation considered community among Anglo-American pirates of the early-eighteenth century, and was awarded both the British Commission for Maritime History Prize for Undergraduate Achievement, and the Nick Atkin Prize from the University of Reading. My Masters' thesis constituted a socio-cultural analysis of sailors involved in the British voyages of Pacific exploration and discovery, 1764-1803. My thesis was chosen by Exeter University as its sole nomination for the British Commission for Maritime History Masters Dissertation Prize 2020/21. Part of the research conducted for my Masters' thesis has recently formed the basis of an article examining sailor identities and cross-cultural encounter, that was published in the Journal for Maritime Research (2022).

My research interests lie broadly within the field of Oceanic and Maritime History in the early-modern period. More particularly, my research has tended to examine seafarers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from a social and cultural perspective, typically through the exploration of identity, mentalité, and nation.

I am also the founder and co-convenor of the Cambridge Oceanic and Maritime History Workshop

I am currently supervising a number of students in Paper 17 (Part I): European History, 1715-1890. I am also partially involved in supervising one student in Paper 21 (Part I): Empires and World History from the 15th Century to the First World War.

  •  'Rank, ‘Pedigree’ and Hierarchy: The Influence of Cross-Cultural Encounter upon the Identities and Mentalités of British Naval Sailors during the ‘Scientific’ Voyages, 1764–1803’, Oceanic and Maritime History Workshop, University of Cambridge, October 2021.
  • ‘‘The Golden Age of Piracy’: Re-Assessing the Vocabulary of Maritime History’, Centre of Port and Maritime History, September 2021.
  • ‘Piracy, Nationality and the English East India Company, 1690-1700’, University of Cambridge, February 2021.


Key publications

Journal Articles

'Identity and Mentalité: British Naval Sailors and Encounter During the 'Scientific' Voyages, 1764-1803', Journal for Maritime Research (advance access, 2022).