Early Modern Encounters with the Islamic East: Performing Cultures, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Early Modern Encounters with the Islamic East

Performing Cultures, 1st Edition

Edited by Sabine Schülting, Sabine Lucia Müller, Ralf Hertel


222 pages

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An exploration of early modern encounters between Christian Europe and the (Islamic) East from the perspective of performance studies and performativity theories, this collection focuses on the ways in which these cultural contacts were acted out on the real and metaphorical stages of theatre, literature, music, diplomacy and travel. The volume responds to the theatricalization of early modern politics, to contemporary anxieties about the tension between religious performance and belief, to the circulation of material objects in intercultural relations, and the eminent role of theatre and drama for the (re)imagination and negotiation of cultural difference. Contributors examine early modern encounters with and in the East using an innovative combination of literary and cultural theories. They stress the contingent nature of these contacts and demonstrate that they can be read as moments of potentiality in which the future of political and economic relations - as well as the players' cultural, religious and gender identities - are at stake.


'This collection brings together a multidisciplinary set of essays drawing on performance studies and performativity theory to assess western European cultural encounters with the Islamic east� during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Original contributions on diplomatic and mercantile performances, global commodity exchange and the stage, and dramatic productions ranging across media and extending from the early modern to the postmodern deepen the substantial body of criticism on this encounter and offer new approaches through material culture, art history, and musicology.' Bernadette Andrea, Department of English, University of Texas at San Antonio, author of Women and Islam in Early Modern English Literature

'… this volume is to be welcomed for its expansion of the subject into a wide range of areas, and for covering this fascinating and multi-faceted topic under one roof…' Review of English Studies

'… the editors Sabine Schülting, Sabine Lucia Müller, and Ralf Hertel have made an excellent contribution to the flourishing scholarship on Anglo-Islamic encounters in literary studies … This collection is surely a great intervention into the conversations about transculturalism, global economies, and cross-cultural encounters in a wide array of disciplines from literary and cultural studies, to history, geography, music, and history of art.' Renaissance Quarterly

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: cultures at play, Sabine Schülting, Sabine Lucia Müller and Ralf Hertel; Part 1 Players and Playgrounds: William Harborne's embassies: scripting, performing and editing Anglo-Ottoman diplomacy, Sabine Lucia Müller; Performing at the Ottoman Porte in 1599: the case of Henry Lello, Gerald MacLean; Command performances: early English traders in Arabia Felix, Richmond Barbour; Strategic improvisation: Henry Blount in the Ottoman Empire, Sabine Schülting. Part 2 Props and Costumes: English women in oriental dress: playing the Turk in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Turkish Embassy Letters and Daniel Defoe's Roxana, Susanne Scholz; Painting the 'orient'? Dosso Dossi's Melissa, Wibke Joswig; Materialising Islam on the early modern English stage, Matthew Dimmock. Part 3 Encounters on Stage: Ousting the Ottomans: the double vision of the East in The Travels of the Three English Brothers (1607), Ralf Hertel; Claudio Monteverdi's Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1624 or 1625): a Christian-Muslim encounter in music?, Clemens Risi; After Orientalism? Post-September 11 culturalisms at play in Bambiland and The Persians, Claudia Breger; Bibliography; Index.

About the Editors

Sabine Schülting is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Sabine Lucia Müller is currently employed as director's assistant at George Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany.

Ralf Hertel is Professor of English Literature at the University of Trier, Germany.

About the Series

Transculturalisms, 1400-1700

This series presents studies of the early modern contacts and exchanges among the states, polities and entrepreneurial organizations of Europe; Asia, including the Levant and East India/Indies; Africa; and the Americas. Books investigate travellers, merchants and cultural inventors, including explorers, mapmakers, artists and writers, as they operated in political, mercantile, sexual and linguistic economies. We encourage authors to reflect on their own methodologies in relation to issues and theories relevant to the study of transculturism/translation and transnationalism. We are particularly interested in work on and from the perspective of the Asians, Africans, and Americans involved in these interactions, and on such topics as:

-Material exchanges, including textiles, paper and printing, and technologies of knowledge

-Movements of bodies: embassies, voyagers, piracy, enslavement

-Travel writing: its purposes, practices, forms and effects on writing in other genres

-Belief systems: religions, philosophies, sciences

-Translations: verbal, artistic, philosophical

-Forms of transnational violence and its representations.

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