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This research is principally concerned with the investigation of the issue of culture shock and transcurality with specific reference to John Foss's "A Journal, of the Captivity and Sufferings of John Foss" (1798) and James Leander Cathcart's "The Captives, Eleven Years a Prisoner in Algiers" (1899). Taking my bearings from culture shock theories and transculralism, I would argue that the reading of these two accounts of captivity from a limited orientalist point of view, as postcolonial critics are often prone to do, overlooks the issue of culture shock that inevitably emerges in contact zones like the Barbary Coast. This culture shock will be analyzed with reference to identity construction and cultural differences in foodways, clothing, and traditions and customs. I would also argue that the two captivity narratives are also deployed as pretexts for entering the public sphere and participate in the constitutional debate by bringing the political, economic, and social knowledge that the two captive authors had gathered during their imprisonment in Algiers to bear on American domestic and foreign policies. As transcultural reporters, Foss and Cathcart made available inspiring models by making available knowledge about how, for example, revenue was gathered in the Regency of Algiers, and how the relationship between the provinces and the central government were managed.

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Bouteldja Riche (Algeria) 13669
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