• Course Number: ENGL 231
  • Prerequisites:

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  • Quarter: Spring 2024

This seminar will pursue theoretical, methodological, and critical questions prompted by Edward Said’s articulation in Culture and Imperialism of  “the voyage in” —  that is, the movement of “Third World intellectuals” from Africa, Asia, and the Americas into Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — as constitutive of rather than peripheral to European culture and history during the era of high imperialism. Building on Said’s model, our attention will be on “voyages in” by multiple subaltern subjects, with varying degrees of volition, during the early modern/ colonial period (sixteenth to eighteenth century). Our scope covers the established and emerging empires of “the greater Western world,” including the Ottoman (Turkish), Habsburg (Spanish), and English. Further intersections will involve Renaissance Italian city states, the Safavid (Persian) empire, the Powhatan confederacy (Tsenacommacah), and more. We will focus on salient transcultural lives with transtemporal resonances, from Leo Africanus/ al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Wezzan to Pocahontas/ Matoaka. Reading dialogically, we will consider drama by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Dryden, and Aphra Behn in relation to these histories and the traces they leave in the archives. Engaging documentary, literary, and visual sources, the seminar will support transcultural and transtemporal projects for students who focus on the early modern period or who focus on later periods.


  • Schedule & Location
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