Arabic Slave Writings and the American Canon

Welcome to Arabic Slave Writings and the American Canon, an initiative dedicated to the study and teaching of a pivotal, yet largely unrecognized, element of U.S. literary history: personal writings by African slaves of Muslim descent, composed during their captivity in America, and authored in Arabic. 

Supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Development Fellowship (2011-2012), Arabic Slave Writings and the American Canon aims to promote the integration of this rich and complex heritage into undergraduate curricula. Serving as companion to Northern Illinois University’s own ENGL 331 (American Literature 1830-1860), this website also seeks to share its primary texts, translations, and resources more broadly, offering fellow instructors and institutions the materials essential for teaching Arabic slave writings.

For comments and queries regarding the initiative, please contact Prof. Einboden at


Jeffrey Einboden
Reavis Hall 329
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