Elena Furlanetto earned her doctorate in American Literary and Cultural Studies from the Technical University of Dortmund in July 2015 and currently works as researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She is the author of Towards Turkish American Literature: Narratives of Multiculturalism in Post-Imperial Turkey (2017) and a co-editor of A Poetics of Neurosis: Narratives of Normalcy and Disorder in Cultural and Literary Texts (with Dietmar Meinel 2018) as well as Media Agoras: Islamophobia and Inter/Multimedial Dissensus (with Frank Mehring, 2020). She has published on the influences of Islamic mystic poetry on American Transcendentalism, on Orientalism in Hollywood film, and on the captivity narrative. Her research and teaching interests also include postcolonial literatures, comparative empire studies, and poetry. Elena Furlanetto is writing her postdoctoral thesis in the framework of the DFG Research Unit “Ambiguität und Unterscheidung: Historisch-kulturelle Dynamiken” (Ambiguity and Difference: Historical and Cultural Dynamics). Her focus are dynamics of ‘ambiguation’ in the early and nineteenth-century Americas.

“Eternal Confusions in Another World”: American Captives and Imperial Vulnerability in Algiers

“We are Distressed for you, O our BRETHREN, We are Distressed for you!” (3) Puritan minister Cotton Mather thunders in the opening of his “Pastoral Letter to the English Captives, in Africa” (1698). The letter addresses American captives in North Africa,[1] but Mather’s concern for their personal safety is only… Continue reading