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Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624

by Jonathan Burton


         ISBN: 0-87413-913-9

         Published in 2005

         $55.00

         Order Book (electronic only)

Bringing together English, Ottoman, and North African sources to outline the discourse on Muslims, Traffic and Turning offers an extended discussion of the theater and its place in this discourse, while presenting important methodological and theoretical theses with regard to the analysis of cross-cultural encounters in early modern England. Rather than simply cataloguing instances of Turkish nobility or villainy in the drama of the period, Traffic and Turning draws together a range of dramatic texts, both well known and relatively obscure, spanning public as well as private performances, formal theater as well as street entertainment, to demonstrate a complex and compelling pattern of engagement with and representation of Muslims in over sixty dramatic works produced in England between 1579 and 1624. Burton argues that for an English audience increasingly drawn into commercial traffic with Muslims, the issue was how to turn to the Turks without "turning Turk," or being converted to Islam. Jonathan Burton is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at West Virginia University.

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