Module Identifier ENM1320  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Claire E Jowitt  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   Seminar. 2 hours per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 5,000 word essay100%
Supplementary Assessment essay, 5,000 words  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

- demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of texts under review which is informed by an engagement with and understanding of relevant secondary reading
-demonstrate an awareness of the broader cultural and theoretical issues raised by the module
- situate - representations of Jews, Turks and pirates against a context of beliefs in England, and the significance of anti-establishment behaviour about people of Jewish and Islamic faiths in circulation in England
- apply a variety of critical approaches to, and recent discussions of, the drama on the module
- discuss, research and produce written work about these texts which demonstrates historical, critical and cutural engagement with the time of their production


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to some important issues raised by the varied representations of Jews, Turks and pirates on the early modern stage;

2. to situate these depictions in relation to popular Renaissance stereotypes and beliefs about these groups;

3. to explore and interrogate the extent to which Renaissance dramatists undermined or supported the stereotypes;

4. to enable students to locate the stage representation of Jews, Turks and pirates in relation to the wider political and cultural concerns of Renaissance England.

Brief description

This module concerns the varied representations of Jews, Turks and pirates on the early modern stage. It examines these depictions in relation to popular stereotypes and beliefs about these groups in circulation in the Renaissance. It questions the extent to which Renaissance dramatists undermined or supported stereotypical conceptions of both Jews, Turks and pirates. Did dramatists merely reflect popular prejudices and stereotypes, or did they embody a more complex and layered response? Do dramatic representations of these 'alien' and nationally 'other' figures express anxieties about 'Englishness' for instance? Should we read a character such as Barabas in The Jew of Malta or Selimus in Greene's play as, perhaps, coded representations of other English political and cultural concerns? And in what ways should we understand the anti-establishment activity of piracy?


Seminar list

1. Fictions of Difference
Primary text: Marlowe's "The Jew 0f Malta" (1589-91)

2. Fictions of Difference II
Primary text: Robert Greene, "Selimus, Emperor of the Turks" (1594)

3. 'The Pound of Flesh': Ritual Murder, Sexuality and Circumcision
Primary text: Shakespeare's "Merchant 0f Venice" (1600)

4. Turks, Pirates and Jews
Primary text: Robert Daborne "A Christian Turned Turk" (1612)

5. Turks, Pirates and Apostasy
Primary texts: Philip Massinger, "The Renegado" (1623)


Select Bibliography

Emily C. Bartels, 'Malta, the Jew and Fictions of Difference: Colonialist Discourse in Marlowe's The Jew 0f Malta', English Literary Renaissance, 20, (1996), 1-16.
Emily C. Bartels, Spectacles of Strangeness: Imperialism. Alienation and Marlowe (1993)
Jack D'Amico, The Moor in English Renaissance Drama, (1991)
Frank Felsenstein, Anti-Semitic Stereotypes: A Paradigm of Otherness in English Popular Culture 1660-1830, ( 1995).
Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, (1980)
Stephen Greenblatt, Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture (1990)
Lisa Jardine, Reading Shakespeare Historically, (1996)
David Katz, The Jews in the History of England, (1994)
David Katz, Sabbath and Sectarianism in Seventeenth-Century England (1988)
Frank E. Manuel, The Broken Sta.IJ. Judaism Through Christian Eyes (1992)
Nabil Matar, Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (1999)
James Shapiro, Shakespeare and the Jews, (1996).


This module is at CQFW Level 7