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Lives in Transit in Early Modern England

Identity and Belonging

216 pages
Amsterdam University Press
What did it mean to be a 'go-between' in the early modern world? How were such figures perceived in sixteenth and seventeenth century England? And what effect did their movement between languages, countries, religions and social spaces – whether enforced or voluntary – have on the ways in which people navigated questions of identity and belonging? Lives in Transit in Early Modern England is a work of interdisciplinary scholarship which examines how questions of mobility and transculturality were negotiated in practice in the early modern world. Edited by Nandini Das, the twenty-four essays by João Vicente Melo, Tom Roberts, Haig Smith, Emily Stevenson, and Lauren Working cover a wide range of figures from different walks of life and corners of the globe, ranging from ambassadors to Amazons, monarchs to missionaries, translators to theologians. Together, the essays in this volume provide an invaluable resource for readers interested in questions of race, belonging, and human identity.
Author Bio
Nandini Das is Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford, and Director of 'Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, 1550-1700'. Her publications include Robert Greene’s Planetomachia (2007), Renaissance Romance (2011), The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (2019, co-edited with Tim Youngs), and Keywords of Identity, Race, and Migration in Early Modern England (2021, co-written with the ERC-TIDE research team). João Vicente Melo is a JIN research fellow at Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, and previously postdoctoral fellow on the ERC-TIDE project (Oxford). His research focuses on early modern cross-cultural encounters, with special emphasis on diplomatic exchanges, and mobility in the Iberian colonial systems. He is co-author of Keywords of Identity (2021), and the author of a forthcoming monograph on Jesuit and English experiences at the Mughal court, as well as of a critical edition of Antoni de Montserrat’s writings on the Mughals. Tom Roberts is a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC-TIDE project (Oxford), and a literary historian interested in Anglo-Italian exchange, translation, transnational theatre, and cultural and human migration to sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century London. His primary research focus is the Italian commedia dell’arte and its English re-imagination, which forms the focus of his next monograph. He also works on the City’s stranger communities, and the ways in which migrants navigated new environments and remodelled their cultural practices to the specifications of the city around them. He is a contributor to Keywords of Identity (AUP, 2021). Haig Z. Smith is a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC-TIDE project (Oxford) and Manchester. His research focuses on early modern English expansion and the way in which various communities engaged with and pushed against English colonialism. He is co-author of Keywords of Identity (AUP, 2021), and author of the monograph, Religion and Governance in England’s Emerging Colonial Empire 1601-1698 (Palgrave, 2022). He has also published on a number of topics ranging from Protestantism in Indian cities, early modern chaplains and knowledge exchange, religion in overseas corporations, and the East India company. Emily Stevenson is a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC-TIDE project (Oxford). Her doctoral research examined the contextual communities and networks which surrounded Richard Hakluyt and The Principal Navigations of the English Nation, the primary source for Elizabethan travel writing, using a combination of social network mapping, literary and historical analysis. Her wider research interests include the role of women in sixteenth century mercantile communities and the function of epistolary form in travel narratives, as well as early Jacobean theatre. Lauren Working is a lecturer in early modern literature at the University of York, and a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC-TIDE project (Oxford). Her book, The Making of an Imperial Polity: Civility and America in the Jacobean Metropolis (Cambridge University Press, 2020), explores how colonial projects and the circulation of plantation goods transformed ideas of civil refinement in Jacobean London, and received the RHS Whitfield Book Prize in 2021. She is co-author of Keywords of Identity (AUP, 2021), and has published articles on topics including intoxicants, wit poetry, female agents, and Jamestown archaeology in The Historical Journal, Anthropology Today, and The Sixteenth Century Journal.