Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
HA32120,HY32320, HY32520, HY32720, HY32820, HY33320, HY33420, HY33520, HY34420, HY34620, HY34720, HY34820
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hrs seminars individual tutorials of 10 - 15 minutes essay and project planning


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x documentary analysis (1,500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x project (5000 words).  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x essay (1,500 words)  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

demonstrate familiarity with the ways in which travel narratives, drama and literature have been used by historians and an awareness of the challenges of working with these sources;

demonstrate an awareness of historical debates regarding Orientalism and of Anglo-Ottoman interaction

Analyze and reflect critically on the relationship between the intentions of those who participated in creating these sources and their historical value.

construct and sustain historical arguments orally (unassessed) and in writing;

work both independently and collaboratively and to participate in group discussions (unassessed)

Brief description

This module will focus on English perceptions of the Ottomans, and Anglo-Ottoman relations, which had been established in 1581. Many of the English visitors to Istanbul thereafter penned their experiences in detail and have left valuable information for historians. During the course of this module, we will examine the manner in which these authors viewed Islam, Ottoman society and culture, politics, as well as investigate the role of Ottomans in the construction of the symbols of their power through architecture. In addition, through English drama and literature of the early modern period, we will look at the ways in which Ottomans were represented by English playwrights and the changing notions of the Turks, which were reflected in their works. An investigation of some of the travel narratives in detail, will aid in assessing the extent to which English authors adhered to stereotypes of the `Orient', in light of their own unique experiences.

The objective is for students to familiarize themselves with the genre of literature to which these sources belong, and to investigate English perceptions in the Orientalist context. Students will be given the opportunity to explore these sources and contribute to the Orientalist discussion. Alongside this, they will also gain insight into the impact that these specific interactions and valuable cultural exchanges, had on history.


This module will provide an additional choice as part of the range of skills, sources and methods modules available to second year students. It will give students an opportunity to consider how travel writing may be used as a source by historians and will introduce them to the debates regarding Orientalism and the concept of `the other'.


1) Introduction to the Ottoman Empire and Anglo-Ottoman interaction
2) The genre of travel literature, histories and travel narratives
3) Biographies and brief background of the writers: Dallam, Bon, Knolles, Sandys, Rycaut, Hill, Montagu, and their works
4) English depictions of `Mahomet' and Islam
5) English perceptions of the spiritual status of Ottoman men and women in the earthly world and the afterlife
6) English perception of Ottoman marriage and divorce
7) English perceptions of Ottoman politics and government
8) Depiction of the Ottomans in early modern English literature in general, and Restoration drama in particular
9) English perceptions of architectural contributions of Ottoman men and women
10) Conclusions

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. Literary skills will be assessed through written assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given on improving students¿ research techniques and essay writing skills.
Information Technology Students will be required to locate primary and secondary source materials through library and on-line sources. Students will be encouraged to word-process their assessed work and handouts for presentations. Likewise, students will be expected to use IT in their presentations.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop oral and written skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.
Problem solving Students will be required to locate and assess primary source materials. Assessed through written assignments and presentations.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work. The latter will be assessed though written assignments and presentations.
Subject Specific Skills This module will develop a knowledge of how historians have used particular types of early modern literature and a familiarity with the debate regarding the Ottomans and perceptions of the Oriental in general.
Team work Students will collaborate during seminar activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6