Renaissance Literature and Globalization

Course Number: ENGL 231
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 231
Quarter: Fall 2018
Instructor: Andrea, Bernadette
Day(s): T
Time: 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location: SH 2714

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

The following texts are required for the course:

  • Juergensmeyer, Mark, ed.  Thinking Globally: A Global Studies Reader. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.  ISBN: 9780520278448. (Available electronically through the UCSB Library.)
  • Parker, Charles H. Global Interactions in the Early Modern Age, 1400-1800.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0521688673
  • Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization. 2nd ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0472089314
  • Columbus, Christopher. The Four Voyages. New York: Penguin, 1992. ISBN 978- 0140442175
  • Las Casas, Bartholomé. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. New York: Penguin, 1992. ISBN 978-0140445626
  • More, Thomas. Utopia. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2010. ISBN 978-0-393-93246-1
  • Hakluyt, Richard.  Voyages and Discoveries. Ed. Jack Beeching. New York: Penguin, 1982. ISBN: 978-0140430738
  • Jonson, Ben.  Masques of Difference: Four Court Masques.  Ed. Kristen McDermott.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0719057540
  • Shakespeare, William.  Othello.  Ed. Edward Pechter.  New York: Norton, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-393-26422-7