In this course we will analyze fictional and non-fictional accounts of shipwreck and/or captivity, from the 16th century until the present. We will examine a range of narratives from the Spanish, English, German and American traditions and also discuss some recent films. The analytical focus will be on the ideological underpinnings of these accounts: What is the relationship between these texts and the political/social/economical context in which they were produced? How do they construct the "other"? What do they reveal about the narrator's sense of self? In what ways do these narratives affirm or contradict the discourse of conquest and imperial expansion?