Date of Award
Billy J. Stratton, Ph.D.
Captivity memoirs, Incarceration memoirs, Narratives
The captivity genre has a rich history in fiction and memoir. In this work, I argue that the expansive parameters of the captivity genre should include an additional subset of texts: incarceration memoirs. Working with two canonized Indian captivity narratives - Mary Rowlandson's Sovereignty and the Goodness of God and Sarah Wakefield's Six Weeks in the Sioux Teepees - and two contemporary incarceration memoirs - Stanley Tookie Williams' Blue Rage, Black Redemption and Sanyika Shakur's Monster - I suggest that, across a range of thematic and contextual metrics, incarceration memoirs participate in the captivity genre. These equivalences include: the abduction of the narrator within a larger zone of violent conflict, and the power struggles - frequently over resources and territorial boundaries - that occasion capture, the acclimation to a different culture by the captive and the development of skills to survive, and the shaping role of captivity on personal identity through isolation, violence, friendship, and education, and how these features contribute to a "conversion" experience.
Carafano IV, Vincent James, "Incarceration Memoirs and the Captivity Genre" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1250.
Received from ProQuest
Vincent James Carafano IV