European Slaves:
Christians in African
Pirate Encounters



Radio report
"Diagonal zum Thema: Sklaverei", Ö1, February 29, 2020.
"Das Inhaltsverzeichnis", 4:28 min.
"Deutschsprachige Sklavenberichte aus Nordafrika", 5:01 min.

Online article
"Vormoderne Sklaverei am Mittelmeer",, December 6, 2019, online.

Newspaper article
"Piraten lockten 50.000 Besucher nach Ambras", Tiroler Tagezeitung, September 11, 2019.

Online article
Piraterie und Sklaverei: Auf Menschenjagd im MittelmeerDer Standard,  July 2, 2019, online.

Newspaper article
"Wie ein Tiroler Bauer von Piraten versklavt wurde", Tiroler Tageszeitung Magazin, July 15, 2018.

Newspaper article
"Menschenhandel im Mittelmeerraum", Die Presse, June 9, 2018.

Robert Spindler (Innsbruck), "Renegados: Converted Christians in British Barbary Captivity Narratives", International Symposium Buccaneers, Corsairs, Pirates and Privateers: Connecting the Early Modern Seas, Bielefeld University, 13.04.2018.

Robert Spindler (Innsbruck), "Three Early Modern Barbary Captivity Narratives in the German Language and their Portrayal of Islam", Mediterranean Collaborative, Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World at the University of Minnesota, 08.11.2017.

Robert Spindler (Innsbruck), "Masters, Agusins and Renegados: Portrayals of Muslims in Early Modern Barbary Captivity Narratives from Germany and Austria", SAGES Program, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, 04.11.2017.

Newspaper article
"Auf zum Entern!", Der Standard.

Robert Spindler (Innsbruck), "Merckwürdige Lebens- und Reisebeschreibung: Der Bericht des Johann Michael Kühn", Erzählen zwischen Fakt und Fiktion (workshop), Innsbruck, 23.02.2017.

German article about our conference on "Piracy and Captivity in the Mediterranean: 1530-1810" in Innsbruck.

Newspaper article
"Als christlicher Gefangener unter Piraten", Der Standard.

Contact us:

Mario Klarer
Project Leader

+43 (0)512 507 4172

+43 (0)512 507 2879


Institut für Amerikastudien
Universität Innsbruck
Innrain 52
6020 Innsbruck

Supported by a grant from the

Piracy and Captivity in the Mediterranean: 1530-1810
Barbary Coast Captivity Narratives

16 - 18 June 2016
Claudiana (Herzog Friedrich Straße 3)
University of Innsbruck, Austria, Europe


Thursday, 16 June 2016

08:00 Registration desk opens

09:00-09:30 Opening Remarks
Tilmann Märk - Rector, University of Innsbruck
Sebastian Donat - Dean, Faculty of Humanities (Language and Literature),
University of Innsbruck
Mario Klarer - Head of the American Studies Department

09:30-10:30 Keynote Lecture I
Nabil Matar (University of Minnesota): “Two Arabic Accounts of Captivity in Seventeenth-Century Malta”

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:00 Keynote Lecture II
Christine Sears (University of Alabama, Huntsville): “‘Arab Speculators’ and Slavery in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century Western Sahara”

12:00-14:00 Lunch Break

14:00-15:30 Parallel Workshop Panels 1

Workshop A: The Northern European Perspective (Chair: M. Ressel)
Joachim Östlund (Lund University): “Slave Trade and Slave Labour at the Swedish Consulates in North Africa: A Study into the Networks of Slavery and the Use of Unfree Africans and Europeans 1730-1850”
Þorsteinn Helgason (University of Iceland): “The Extreme Point: The Turkish Raid in Iceland 1627”
Adam Nichols (University of Maryland): “Reverend Ólafur Egilsson, a Man of His Times”

Workshop B: The American Perspective (Chair: E. Furlanetto)
Nikoletta Papadopoulou (University of Cyprus): “Conversion and Integration: National Anxieties in American Barbary Captivity Narratives”
Tobias Auböck (Universität Innsbruck): “Easier Imagined than Described: Femininity and Fictionality in American Barbary Coast Captivity Narratives”
Zsolt Palotás (University of Szeged): “Welcomed Visitor or/and Political Pest of Society?: The Mission of the Tunisian Envoy from Barbary to the United States (1805–1806)”

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-17:00 Keynote III
Gillian Weiss (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio): “A Huguenot Captive in ‘Uthman Dey’s Court: Histoire chronologique du royaume de Tripoly (1685) and Its Author”

19:00 Conference Dinner, Weinhaus Happ (registration required)

Friday, 17 June 2016

10:00-12:00 Workshop Panel 2

Processing Captivity (Chair: L. Kattenberg)
Michael Gordon (University of North Carolina, Wilmington): “Spanish cautivo Literature and the Return of the Jew to the Iberian Peninsula”
Marcus Hartner (Bielefeld University): “Rereading Captivity: Hybrid Genres and Narrative Experimentation in Early Modern Captivity Narratives”
Giulia Bonazza (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales): “The Color of the Skin in Mediterranean Slave Exchanges: Palermo, Livorno, Algiers and Tunis”

12:00-14:00 Lunch Break

14:00-15:00 Keynote IV
Daniel J. Vitkus (University of California, San Diego): “From Ransoming Captives to Human Trafficking: English Texts, Commercial Transformation, and Barbary Captivity in the Early Modern Period”

15:00-15:30 Coffee Break

15:30-17:00 Parallel Workshop Panels 3

Workshop A: Negotiating Identity (Chair: G. Bonazza)
Stefanie Fricke (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): "Renegades between Christian 'Self' and Muslim 'Other': The Captivity Narratives of Joseph Pitts and Thomas Pellow"
Robert Spindler (Universität Innsbruck): “Identity Crisis: Returning from the Barbary Coast”
Salvatore Bono (Università degli Studi di Perugia): “L’esclave religieux di Antoine Quartier (Tripoli, 1660-1668), come fonte storica” (Presentation will be held in Italian!)

Workshop B: Orientalism and the Orient (Chair: R. Rebitsch)
Anna Diamantouli (King's College): “Beyond Orientalism: Re-Reading American Barbary Captivity Narratives”
Abdelmjid Kettioui (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University): “Islam’s Blonde Conquests on the Barbary Coast: Geopolitics, Faith and Sexuality in Elizabeth Marsh’s The Female Captive (1769)”
Ernstpeter Ruhe (Universität Würzburg): “Images from the Dey’s Court: The Artist as Slave in Algiers” (Presentation will be held in German, English translations will be distributed!)

17:00-17:30 Coffee Break

17:30-18:30 Keynote V
George A. Starr (University of California, Berkeley): “Barbary Slavery and Robinson Crusoe

19:00 Buffet, Galerie Claudiana

Saturday, 18 June 2016

10:30-12:00 Parallel Workshop Panels 4

Workshop A: Captivity and Life Stories (Chair: M. Gordon)
Robert Rebitsch (Universität Innsbruck): “Michael Heberer as Prisoner in the Ottoman Navy”
Christine Isom-Verhaaren (Brigham Young University): “Captivity Tales and the Captive Admiral, Venedikli Hasan”
Peter Mark (Wesleyan University): “Ahmed Al-Mansur and Antonio de Saldanha: The Muslim Ruler as Enlightened Despot”

Workshop B: Images of Slavery (Chair: J. Östlund)
Lisa Kattenberg (University of Amsterdam): “Muslims, Morality and Commercial Success: The Captivity Narrative of Emanuel d’Aranda, 1640-1682”
Magnus Ressel (Historisches Kolleg München): “Putting Christian Slavery into Perspective. On Johann Frisch's Schauplatz barbarischer Schlaverey (1666)”
Sebastian Zylinski (Universität Gießen): “Gotha and Its Lost Seamen – The Image of Slavery in Central Germany in the First Half of the 18th Century”

12:00-14:00 Lunch Break

14:00-15:00 Keynote VI
Wolfgang Kaiser (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne): “Persuasion and Plausibility. Narrative Elements in the Ransoming Process”

15:00-15:30 Coffee Break

15:30-16:30 Keynote VII
Jeremy Popkin (University of Kentucky): “Émile in Chains: A New Perspective on Rousseau and Slavery”

16:30-17:00 Closing Remarks


All keynote lectures take place in the Claudiasaal.
Workshops A take place in the Claudiasaal, workshops B in the Türingsaal.
All talks are open to the public.