Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean

Paperback | July 15, 2008

byDaniel Vitkus

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Turning Turk looks at contact between the English and other cultures inthe early modern Mediterranean, and analyzes the representation of thatexperience on the London stage. Vitkus's book demonstrates that theEnglish encounter with exotic alterity, and the theatrical representationsinspired by that encounter, helped to form the emergent identity of an English nation that was eagerly fantasizing about having an empire but was still in the preliminary phase of its colonizing drive. Vitkus' research shows how plays about the multi-cultural Mediterranean participated in this process of identity formation, and how anxieties about religious conversion, foreign trade and miscegenation were crucial factors in the formation of that identity.

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Turning Turk looks at contact between the English and other cultures inthe early modern Mediterranean, and analyzes the representation of thatexperience on the London stage. Vitkus's book demonstrates that theEnglish encounter with exotic alterity, and the theatrical representationsinspired by that encounter, helped to form the emergen...

From the Jacket

"Daniel Vitkus is one of a handful of scholars currently redrawing the map of East-West cultural relations in early modern Europe. In Turning Turk he offers a bold revision of widely held theoretical and historical assumptions about the discourse of Orientalism in the period. Vitkus decisively reorients our view of the drama of the per...

Daniel Vitkus is Associate Professor of English at Florida State University. He is editor of Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England and Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.59 inPublished:July 15, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230602398

ISBN - 13:9780230602397

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Table of Contents

Theorizing the Exotic Other * The English and the Mediterranean * Encountering Islam * Conversion Plays * Machiavellian Merchants * Engendering Exchange * Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Daniel Vitkus is one of a handful of scholars currently redrawing the map of East-West cultural relations in early modern Europe. In Turning Turk he offers a bold revision of widely held theoretical and historical assumptions about the discourse of Orientalism in the period. Vitkus decisively reorients our view of the drama of the period and shifts the center of the intellectual, political and dramatic focus of the period decisively eastwards. The result is a series of new and persuasive accounts of plays that we thought we understood, and many others that will no longer be ignored as marginal to the concerns of the early modern English stage thanks to Vitkus' book."--Dr. Jerry Brotton, Queen Mary, University of London, author of The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo"Daniel Vitkus's eagerly-awaited book situates a wide range of early modern English plays in relation to often-contradictory contemporary representations of Islam, the Ottoman 'Turk,' and the Mediterranean world. At the same time, Vitkus engages central issues in early modern and postcolonial studies, shifting the debate to what is literally new ground. Turning Turk is an exemplary achievement, a pioneering study that will be quoted for years to come."--Patricia Parker, Watkins University Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Stanford University