National Anxieties and Negotiating Difference in American Barbary Captivity Narratives

Nikoletta Papadopoulou


The essay examines the accounts of personal experiences of those Americans who came into contact with the Berbers along the North African coast in the decades after the proclamation of American independence. The national anxieties and personal reflections arising from the encounter by Americans with a religiously and culturally complex, distant society on the southern Mediterranean shore are explored. Most American captivity narratives reveal a complex relation to the construction of American identity, where the Orient becomes a zone of contact in which themes related to selfhood and nationhood are constantly negotiated and reconstructed.


Barbary Captivity; American Orientalism; Muslim Orient

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2611-2752/8570


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Nikoletta Papadopoulou

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.