The Founding Dey of Algiers: Islam, Imagination and an Aspirational American Republic

The specter, the foil, the cultural edges, that which was 'beyond the pale,' representations of Muslims exposed the limits and provincial, protestant edifice of Americans’ universalist modern republic. At the same time, The United States had to confront the dissonance between their perceptions and their reception in the interconnected, Mediterranean commerce and their subject position to Islamic North African regimes.

Lecture Description

This lecture looks at early Americans’ encounters with Islam and more particularly the Islamic North African states of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli to explore the foundational place of imagination and print culture for brokering the diplomatic vulnerability, political factionalism, ideological contradictions and fantastic aspirations of a nascent early American Republic.


Religion Revolutionary and Early National

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