Reading the Early Modern Anglo-Muslim Archive: The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Translation | Newberry

Reading the Early Modern Anglo-Muslim Archive: The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Translation

Newberry Wing folio F 59 .4661, vol. 3

Richard Knolles, The Turkish history, from the original of that nation, to the growth of the Ottoman empire, 1687, Newberry Wing folio F 59 .4661, vol. 3

Research Methods Workshop for Early-Career Graduate Students
Friday, September 28, 2012

9 am - 5 pm

Led by Jyotsna Singh, Michigan State University
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Renaissance Graduate Programs

The aims of this workshop are twofold: to guide a close micro-reading of selected archival materials, primarily from the Newberry special collections, that illuminate the interactions and “translations” between early modern English and Muslim empires and travelers, as evident in both texts and images; and to explore two related thematic strands: the emergence and divergence of Muslim empires from both English and Muslim perspectives; and the figure of the ambassador or emissary—both official and unofficial—as mediator and translator between different cultures and empires.

Drawing on the growing scholarly engagement with Anglo-Muslim relations from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries, this workshop will focus on figurations of Islam and Muslim cultures, within both intercultural and intra-cultural contexts. While European Renaissance cultures cast both a skeptical and a fascinated eye on the Muslim world on their peripheries, we hope to illuminate those Muslim societies from both local and globalizing contexts.

See the director’s web page: Jyotsna Singh, Michigan State University

Printable PDF flyer


8:30 – 9: Coffee and continental breakfast

9 – 9:45: Presentation by Jyotsna Singh

9:45 – 11: Discussion: participants share precirculated responses to the required readings

11 – 11:40: Obtain reader cards/library tour and orientation

11:40 – 12:30: Catered lunch

12:30 – 2:15: Presentation by Matthew Dimmock, University of Sussex

2:15 – 3:30: Rare books “show-and-tell” session

3:30 – 5: Concluding discussion

We encourage participants to plan to return to the Newberry the following Saturday morning, or arrive a day early (or both!) to explore Newberry materials on their own in the Reading Rooms (open 9 am to 5 pm Thursdays and Fridays and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays).

Pre-workshop preparation

The participants of this workshop will prepare short responses on one or two of the works below to be precirculated prior to the workshop (details of the assignment and copies of the readings will be made available to those who register):

  1. Thomas Newton [Celio Curione], A Notable Historie of the Saracens (1575), Case F 622.62
  2. Richard Eden, The history of Travayle in the West and East Indies (1577), VAULT Ayer 110.E2 1577
  3. Sir Paul Rycaut [and Richard Knolles], The Turkish history, from the original of that nation, to the growth of the Ottoman empire (1687), Wing folio F 59.4661
  4. Samuel Purchas, Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625) - especially books 4 (pp. 535-92) and 9 (pp. 1383-1406 and pp. 1464-83), 2 copies: Case folio G 12.71 and VAULT Ayer 110.P9 1625
  5. Thomas Preston, Lamentable Tragedie, mixed full of plesant mirth, containing the life of Cambises, king of Percia (1584), VAULT Case 3A 650
  6. Elkanah Settle, Cambyses, king of Persia: a tragedy (1670), Case V 135.S48755
  7. William Bedwell, Mahommedis Imposturae (1615)
  8. Tarih-i Hind-i garbi [A history of the India of the West] manuscript in Turkish c. 1600. VAULT Ayer MS 612. English translation - E101.G66 1990
  9. Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor (1504-1529). Ed. and trans. W.M. Thackston. Modern Library Paperback Edition, New York: Random House, 2002
  10. Humayun Nama: The History of Humayun. Princess Gulbadan. (c.1580). Trans. and ed. Annette Beveridge. London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1902, Y 301.641 v.13
  11. Tuzk-i-Jahangiri or Memoirs of Jahangir (1569-1609). Eds. Alexander Rogers and Henry Beveridge. London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1909-1914, Y 301.641 v.19, 22

Download a bibliography of secondary works.


Travel funding

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Learn more about Center for Renaissance Studies programs for graduate students.

Cost and Registration Information 


Graduate students in a terminal master’s program and those who have not yet completed comprehensive exams in a PhD program in a range of disciplines are encouraged to enroll, including those studying anthropology, comparative literature, cultural studies, history, literature in English or other relevant languages, Middle Eastern studies, and religious studies. Participants will develop and fine-tune skills in research methods and theoretical approaches, through the lens of the growing subfield of early modern Anglo-Muslim encounters. Enrollment is limited to 20. Students from Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies consortium member institutions have priority, and fees are waived for them.

Prerequisites: No language prerequisites.

Enrollment deadline has passed.