A Companion to the Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion / Edition 1

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Featuring twenty one newly-commissioned essays, A Companion to the Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion demonstrates how today's globalization is the result of a complex and lengthy historical process that had its roots in England's mercantile and cross-cultural interactions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

  • An innovative collection that interrogates the global paradigm of our period and offers a new history of globalization by exploring its influences on English culture and literature of the early modern period.
  • Moves beyond traditional notions of Renaissance history mainly as a revival of antiquity and presents a new perspective on England's mercantile and cross-cultural interactions with the New and Old Worlds of the Americas, Africa, and the East, as well with Northern Europe.
  • Illustrates how twentieth-century globalization was the result of a lengthy and complex historical process linked to the emergence of capitalism and colonialism
  • Explores vital topics such as East-West relations and Islam; visual representations of cultural 'others'; gender and race struggles within the new economies and cultures; global drama on the cosmopolitan English stage, and many more
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume will provoke students and scholars to think about the Renaissance in much broader, non-European contexts; it contributes valuably to new work on globalization by historicizing the concept." (The English Renaissance, 1 September 2011)

"This collection is intelligently structured and impressively diverse in both its geographical and intellectual range. Most of all, it is unwaveringly enjoyable and intriguing to read. It must surely become a firm fixture on a wide and interdisciplinary range of student reading lists for the early modern period." (Renaissance Studies, November 2010)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jyotsna G. Singh is a Professor at Michigan State University, where she teaches early modern literature and culture, post-colonial theory, and gender and race studies. Her published works include Colonial Narratives/Cultural Dialogues: 'Discovery' of India in the Language of Colonialism (1996); The Weyward Sisters: Shakespeare and Feminist Politics (co-authored, with Dympna Callaghan and Lorraine Helms, 1994); and Travel Knowledge: European 'Discoveries' in the Early Modern Period (co-edited with Ivo Kamps, 2001). She has received several research fellowships, including at the Folger Shakespeare Library and Queen Mary, University of London.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors


Introduction: The Global Renaissance: Jyotsna Singh (Michigan StateUniversity)

Part I: Mapping the Global:

1. The New Globalism: Transcultural Commerce, Global Systems Theory, and Spenser’s Mammon:
Daniel Vitkus (Florida State University)

2. “Travailing” Theory: Global Flows of Labor and the Enclosure of the Subject: Crystal Bartolovich (Syracuse University)

3. Islam and Tamburlaine’s World-picture: John Michael Archer (New York University)

4. Traveling Nowhere: Global Utopias in the Early Modern Period: Chloë Houston (University of Reading)

Part II: “Contact Zones”:

5. The Benefits of a Warm Study: The Resistance to Travel before Empire: Andrew Hadfield  (University of Sussex)

6. “Apes of Imitation”: Imitation and Identity in Sir Thomas Roe’s Embassy to India: Nandini Das (University of Liverpool)

7. A Multinational Corporation: Foreign Labor in the London East India Company: Richmond Barbour (Oregon State University)

8. Where was Iceland in 1600?: Mary C. Fuller (MIT)

9. East by North-east: The English among the Russians, 1553–1603: Gerald MacLean (University of Exeter)

10. The Politics of Identity: William Adams, John Saris, and the English East India Company’s Failure in Japan: Catherine Ryu (Michigan State University)

11. The Queer Moor: Bodies, Borders, and Barbary Inns: Ian Smith (University of Reading)

Part III: Networks of Exchange: Traveling Objects:

12. Guns and Gawds: Elizabethan England’s Infidel Trade: Matthew Dimmock (University of Sussex)

13. Cassio, Cash, and the “Infidel 0”: Arithmetic, Double-entry Book-keeping, and Othello’s Unfaithful Accounts: Patricia Parker (Stanford University)

14. Seeds of Sacrifice: Amaranth, the Gardens of Tenochtitlan and Spenser’s Faerie Queene: Edward M. Test (Boise State University)

15. “So Pale, So Lame, So Lean, So Ruinous”: The Circulation of Foreign Coins in Early Modern England: Stephen Deng (Michigan State University)

16. Canary, Bristoles, Londres, Ingleses: English Traders in the Canaries in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Barbara Sebek (Colorado State University)

17. “The Whole Globe of the Earth”: Almanacs and Their Readers: Adam Smyth (University of Reading)

18. Cesare Vecellio, Venetian Writer and Art-book Cosmopolitan: Ann Rosalind Jones (Smith College)

Part IV: The Globe Staged:

19. Bettrice’s Monkey: Staging Exotica in Early Modern London Comedy: Jean E. Howard (Columbia University)

20. The Maltese Factor: The Poetics of Place in The Jew of Malta and The Knight of Malta: Virginia Mason Vaughan (Clark University)

21. Local/Global Pericles: International Storytelling, Domestic Social Relations, Capitalism: David Morrow (College of St. Rose)

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