The traditional understanding of “the Renaissance” focuses on the recovery of classical Greek and Roman sources by Western European writers from the fifteenth-century through the seventeenth-century. More recently, scholars have demonstrated that Western European culture was profoundly influenced by Islamicate cultures in Italy and Spain, which flourished during the medieval era, and by the Islamic empire of the Ottomans, which was a major European, African, and Asian power during the early modern period. Even though England (along with Wales, Scotland, and Ireland) was considered “marginal” to global geo-politics in this period, English playwrights imagined a Renaissance that encompassed classical Greek and Roman sources and histories of Islamicate cultures and Islamic empires in Eurasia and the Mediterranean. Our class will attend to this Global Renaissance through the genre of the stage play, focusing on works by Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. We will also examine early modern women’s engagement with the same themes using the genre of the “closet drama,” which was written to be read rather than performed in an era when women actors and playwrights were barred from the public stage. Assignments will consist of in-class writing, a mid-term paper and presentation, and a final paper or project. The following editions are required, as we will be consulting the secondary sources therein.