European Slaves:
Christians in African
Pirate Encounters



Book talk of Barbary Captives: An Anthology of Early Modern Slave Memoirs by Europeans in North Africa at the Columbia Global Centers Tunis on January 6, 2023.

Radio feature
"Versklavt im Mittelmeer – Als Christen und Moslems sich jagten," radioWissen, Bayern 2, September 12, 2022.

Review of Barbary Captives: An Anthology of Early Modern Slave Memoirs by Europeans in North Africa in Goodreads.

Newspaper article
“Vom Sklaven zum Bestsellerautor,” Die Presse, July 23, 2022.

Publication of Barbary Captives: An Anthology of Early Modern Slave Memoirs by Europeans in North Africa by Columbia University Press.

Review of Verschleppt, Verkauft, Versklavt: Deutschsprachige Sklavenberichte aus Nordafrika (1550–1800). Edition und Kommentar in Monatshefte.

Review of Mediterranean Slavery and World Literature: Captivity Genres from Cervantes to Rousseau in sehepunkte.

Review of Piracy and Captivity in the Mediterranean: 1550–1810 in sehepunkte.

Review of Verschleppt, Verkauft, Versklavt: Deutschsprachige Sklavenberichte aus Nordafrika (1550–1800). Edition und Kommentar in sehepunkte.

Review of Piraten und Sklaven im Mittelmeer: Eine Ausstellung in Schloss Ambras Innsbruck in sehepunkte.

Review of Verschleppt, Verkauft, Versklavt: Deutschsprachige Sklavenberichte aus Nordafrika (1550–1800) in Historische Zeitschrift.

Review of Verschleppt, Verkauft, Versklavt: Deutschsprachige Sklavenberichte aus Nordafrika (1550–1800) in H-Soz-Kult.

Online article
"Ein weißer Sklave macht Karriere," RP Online, November 13, 2020, online.

Radio feature
"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
Principal investigator

+43 512 507 4172


Institut für Amerikastudien
Universität Innsbruck
Innrain 52d
6020 Innsbruck

Supported by a grant from the


Khalid Bekkaoui is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah University, Fez, Morocco. His most recent books include White Women Captives in North Africa (Palgrave: 2011) The British Bride of Tangier: The Extraordinary Love Story of Emily Shareefa of Wazzan (Moroccan Cultural Studies Centre: 2012), Maghrebi Sufism Youth Gender Politics and the West (in Arabic: Fez University Press: 2013). He is currently working on a book project entitled Muslim Discovery of America.
Report on his stay in Innsbruck (pdf).

Robert Davis is a professor of Italian Renaissance and pre-modern Mediterranean history at Ohio State University. He studies Naples, Rome, Palermo, Venice, Genoa, the Vatican, and Perugia, and mostly works on the lives of ordinary people and the values they cherished. His subjects have ranged from shipbuilders, bull fighters, and amateur boxers in Venice to Italian bandits, Mediterranean corsairs, and the slave trade.

María Antonia Garcés obtained a Masters in English Literature from Georgetown University in 1987, another Masters (1992) and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures from the Johns Hopkins University in 1994. Currently Professor of Hispanic Studies at the Department of Romance Studies, Cornell University, Professor Garcés is a specialist in Cervantes and early modern Spanish literatures and cultures. Her research interests in the literatures of the Iberian Peninsula and Colonial Spanish America lie at the thresholds between cultural and religious traditions, which include the encounters between Christianity and Islam in Spain and the Mediterranean. Her attention to such issues has pressured her to study the question of the frontiers between geopolitical territories and communities, as well as the interactions between Christians and Muslims in North Africa.

Carsten Junker is postdoctoral researcher in English-speaking Cultures/American Studies and member of the Institute for Postcolonial and Transcultural Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany. He obtained his doctorate in North American Literature and Culture from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2009, with a study on the essay as genre of cultural critique. He is currently completing his second book which focuses on the transatlantic discourse of abolition around 1800. For this project, he received the Christoph Daniel Ebeling Fellowship, jointly sponsored by the German Association for American Studies and the American Antiquarian Society.

Joachim Östlund got his PhD in history 2007 and is a teacher and a researcher at the Department of History at Lund University. His research deals with Sweden's relation to the Ottoman Empire and especially its provinces in North Africa. Östlund has done the first modern study on Swedish captives and slaves in North Africa and also discovered that Swedish ships was involved in the trade in African slaves across the Mediterranean. This is presented in the book Saltets pris: svenska slavar i Nordafrika och handeln i Medelhavet 1650-1770, published by Nordic Academic Press 2014. Currently he works on a project (2012-2016) that continues the exploration of the Swedish consular and maritime presence in the Mediterranean, and with special attention on the Ottoman slave trade and the French invasion of Algiers.

Christine E. Sears is an associate professor of History at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she teaches classes in the Atlantic World, Early American Republic, and comparative slavery. Her book, American Slaves and African Masters: Algiers and the Western Sahara, 1776-1820, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.

George A. Starr teaches at the U. C. Berkeley English Department. His current research interests include Biblical and other features of 17th- and 18th-century prose style and Prudential calculation and risk-taking (e.g. in investing, insuring, gambling, &c.), as applied by Defoe and others to questions of religious belief. His most recent book-publication is Christianity Not as Old as the Creation: the Last of Defoe's Performances, ed. G. A. Starr (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012).

Daniel Vitkus holds the Rebeca Hickel endowed chair in Early Modern Literature at UC, San Diego. He earned his Master's Degree in English Language and Literature at Oxford University (Hertford College) and his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the editor of Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England (Columbia UP, 2000) and Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England (Columbia UP, 2001), and he is the author of a book called Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean, 1570-1630 (Palgrave, 2003).

Elisabeth Watzka-Pauli received her PhD in history from the University of Graz, where she also studied philosophy, theology, law and German philology. In 2006 she received a scholarship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and worked at the historical institute of the Austrian forum for culture in Rome. Between 2006-2011 she was a member of the Austrian Science Fund research project “Charitable Catholic Orders in Early Modern Central Europe” at the institute for sociology and the center for social research in Graz. She completed her PhD with the dissertation “Redemption of Christian Slaves by the Trinitarian Order between the 17. and 18. Century: Austrian Redemption in the context of the Order’s Overall Structure” in 2011 and has been working as an independent historian ever since.