The Cosmopolitan Frame of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative

  • Chiara Cillerai
Part of the The New Urban Atlantic book series (NUA)


In this final chapter, Cillerai shows how the emergence of cosmopolitanism in the ex-slave Olaudah Equiano’s writings reveals cosmopolitanism’s function a tool of empowerment and a tool to counteract the same forces that allow for its existence. The chapter shows that looking at the Interesting Narrative from this perspective does not simply reveal Equiano’s cosmopolitanism, it reveals a cosmopolitanism in the context of slavery and the colonial world. It reveals the power the language of cosmopolitanism offered figures like Equiano. Cillerai’s analysis of the opening chapters of the Narrative shows that Equiano rewrites the notion of captivity and roots it in cosmopolitanism rather than nationalism, thus freeing the enslaved subject from the social and cultural limitations slavery imposed on him.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. John’s UniversityStaten IslandUSA

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