The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia

Hardcover | March 15, 2010

byDebra Johanyak

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The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia is an important collection of essays that examine the complex significations of “Asia” in the literary and cultural production of early modern England.  It posits that the interest in merchant and overseas ventures and fascination with foreign lands influenced the canonical literary works of the period and spurred Orientalism.  While such major literary figures as Marlowe, Shakespeare, Bacon, Spenser, and Milton are considered for their contribution to the writing of early modern English Orientalism, theoretical questions pertaining to the significance of postcolonial criticism and cultural studies are also addressed in this groundbreaking volume.

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The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia is an important collection of essays that examine the complex significations of “Asia” in the literary and cultural production of early modern England.  It posits that the interest in merchant and overseas ventures and fascination with foreign lands influenced the canonical lit...

Debra Johanyak is Professor of English at the University of Akron.  She is the author of Shakespeare’s World and Behind the Veil.Walter S. H. Lim is Associate Professor of English Literature at the National University of Singapore.  He is the author of John Milton, Radical Politics, and Biblical Republicanism and The Arts of Empire: T...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:252 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.69 inPublished:March 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230615996

ISBN - 13:9780230615991

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia—Framing the Issues—Walter S. H. Lim * Persia, Tartaria, and Pamphilia: Ideas of Asia in Mary Worth’s The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, Part II—Bernadette Andrea * Romancing the Turk: Trade, Race, and Nation in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene—Marion Hollings * “Turning Turk,” Early Modern English Orientalism, and Shakespeare’s Othello—Debra Johanyak * Indian and Amazon: The Oriental Feminine in A Midsummer Night’s Dream—James W. Stone * Marlowe’s Asia and the Feminization of Conquest—Lisa Hopkins * As Good as Gold: India, Akbar the Great, and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine Plays—Bindu Malieckal * Westward to the Orient: The Specter of Scientific China in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis—Gwee Li Sui * Object Protocols: The “Materials” of Early English Encounters with India—Pramod K. Nayar * John Milton, Orientalism, and the Empires of the East in Paradise Lost—Walter S. H. Lim

Editorial Reviews

"Tindispensableese essays offer an indispensible array of provocative and protoglobalistic readings of canonical English Renaissance texts that demonstrate how the idea of Asia shaped early modern English culture."--PLJ“The essays in this eye-opening collection suggest not only that the Ottoman Empire, Mughal India, and China figured prominently in the early modern English imagination, but also that foundational works of the Renaissance literary canon emerged through an active engagement with the idea of Asia. By historicizing the production of Asia as a space of cultural alterity, the authors remind us powerfully that "the East" was never a stable category, but rather served as a productively mutable cultural token, steeped in the ambitions and anxieties of an island nation facing its first appearance on the world stage.”—David Porter, University of Michigan and author of Ideographia: The Chinese Cipher in Early Modern Europe“The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia offers diverse and richly illuminating essays; it adds historical depth and breadth to our understanding of Renaissance cultural formations in their orientalist engagements.”—Jyotsna G. Singh, Professor, Michigan State University