Captive Selves, Captivating Others

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This book reexamines the Anglo-American literary genre known as the “Indian captivity narrative” in the context of the complex historical practice of captivity across cultural borders in colonial North America. This detailed and nuanced study of the relationship between practice and representation on the one hand, and identity and alterity on the other. It is an important contribution to cultural studies, American studies, Native American studies, women’s studies, and historical anthropology.
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Editorial Reviews

Re-examines the Anglo-American literary genre known as the "Indian captivity narrative" in the context of the complex historical practice of captivity across cultural borders in colonial North America. Study of the construction of identity and difference allows familiar captivity narratives such as that of Captain John Smith to appear in a new light when read alongside less-familiar stories of captivity, particularly those concerning Native Americans captured by British explorers and colonists. Includes a few b&w historical illustrations. Strong is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Texas-Austin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Pauline Turner Strong is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures
Chronology of Events, 1576-1776
Preface and Acknowledgments
A Note on the Text
1 Introduction: Captivity As Convergent Practice and Selective Tradition 1
Identity, Alterity, and the Process of Typification 3
Scholarly Traditions of Captivity 9
The Politics and Poetics of Captivity: An Overview 13
2 Indian Captives, English Captors, 1576-1622 19
European Devourers and Their Prey 20
Kidnapping Tokens and Informants: Frobisher's Inuit Captives 23
Capturing Allies and Enemies: Tisquantum, Alias Squanto 32
3 Captivity and Hostage-Exchange in Powhatan's Domain, 1607-1624 43
A Christian for a Savage: The Middle Ground of Hostage-Exchange 43
The Captivity and Transformation of John Smith 48
The Captivity and Typification of Pocahontas 63
Captivity, Conquest, and Resistance 70
4 The Politics and Poetics of Captivity in New England, 1620-1682 77
Indigenous and Convergent Captivity Practices 78
Metacom's War, Wetamo's Grievances, and the Captivity of Mary Rowlandson 83
Wilderness Trials: A Gentlewoman's Conversion Narrative 96
Captivity, Servitude, and Authority 103
5 Seduction, Redemption, and the Typification of Captivity, 1675-1707 115
To Live Like Heathen: The Two Hannahs 118
Texts Written in Blood: Cotton Mather and the Production of Meaning 128
Redeemed and Unredeemed Captives: John and Eunice Williams 135
Typification, Subordination, and the Limits of Hegemony 143
6 Captive Ethnographers, 1699-1736 151
Shared Substance, Shared Light: The Dickinson and Hanson Narratives 152
Manners and Customs: The Transculturated Captive 166
7 Captivity and Colonial Structures of Feeling, 1744-1776 177
Providence and Sentiment in the Mid-Eighteenth Century 178
Horrifying Matters of Fact: The Production of Savagery and Heroism 192
Conclusion: The Selective Tradition of Captivity 200
App Bibliography of British and British Colonial Captivity Narratives, 1682-1776 211
References 219
Index 253
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