Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 399–412 | Cite as

Propaganda for empire: Barbary captivity literature in the US

  • Moulay Ali BouânaniEmail author


The origins of American demonisation of Islam and the Arabic World has roots in seventeenth century Puritanism and the nascent imperialist attitude of the new settlers. The objectivisation of the Muslim Arab in what the Europeans called ‘Barbary’, and the Native American occurred in tandem and underscored the supposed superiority of English and Puritan values and culture. This article explains how racial and religious biases in the New World worked in tandem with politics and expressed themselves in literature which was used for propagandistic purposes.


Barbary States Moors Muslims Christians captivity American imperalism American Orientalism Early American literature 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Africana StudiesBinghamton University — SUNYUSA

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