Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean

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Turning Turk looks at contact between the English and other cultures in the early modern Mediterranean, and analyzes the representation of that experience on the London stage. Vitkus's book demonstrates that the English encounter with exotic alterity, and the theatrical representations inspired by that encounter, helped to form the emergent identity of an English nation that was eagerly fantasizing about having an empire, but was still in the preliminary phase of its colonizing drive. Vitkus' research shows how plays about the multi-cultural Mediterranean participated in this process of identity formation, and how anxieties about religious conversion, foreign trade and miscegenation were crucial factors in the formation of that identity.