Susanna Rowson’s Barbary Captivity Narrative, or the Struggle for the Freedom of American Women in Algiers
This research explores the feminist dimensions of Rowson's play, Slaves in Algiers or, a struggle for freedom (1794), from historicist and dialogical perspectives. More particularly, it looks at the play within the context of the politics of the early American republic to uncover how Rowson deploys the captivity of American sailors in Algiers (1785-1796) as a pretext to deconstrust the established gender power relations without hurting the sensibilities of her audience in its reference to the issue of black slavery. The research also unveils the many intertextual relationships that the play holds with the prevalent captivity culture of the day, sentimental literature, and more specifically with Cervantes’s Don Quixote.
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