• Course Number: ENGL 231
  • Prerequisites:

    Graduate standing.


  • Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 231
  • Quarter: Fall 2018

This course engages with the theories and histories of global empire articulated in English tracts and translations from the turn of the sixteenth century through the early seventeenth century. It also examines how these theories and histories were translated to the English stage, which was the primary medium for disseminating ideologies and information to a popular audience. Belated with respect to the most powerful empires of the “Greater Western World” (historian Daniel Goffman’s term) – the Spanish Hapsburg and the Turkish Ottoman – England was considered a “proto-imperial” and “proto-orientalist” nation, meaning its leading merchants and courtiers aspired to empire even as their colonial efforts outside the British Isles were tentative and largely unsuccessful. Examining English articulations of imperial desires on the page and stage consequently foregrounds alternative approaches to globalization, including critiques, challenges, and subversions, even as it points towards the hegemonic model that will subtend the British imperial project in subsequent centuries. This course thus aims to provide a comprehensive theoretical, literary, and historical foundation for students interested in discourses of global empire, particularly in the Anglophone tradition, from the early modern period to the present.

Topics we will cover include:

  1. “Proto-Globalization”: Globalization Theory and the Early Modern Period
  2. Mapping the Early Modern Globe
  3. Columbus and China
  4. More’s Utopia and the Idea of America
  5. Las Casas and the Black Legend
  6. Trade, Colonialism, and Empire
  7. Masques of Blackness and Early Modern Race-Thinking
  8. Dramatizing the Christian-Muslim Mediterranean



  • Schedule & Location
  • Details Not Available