The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia

March 15, 2010

Edited by Debra Johanyak and Walter S. H. Lim

Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

Westward to the Orient: The Specter of Scientific China in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

From Back Cover:

The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia is an important collection of essays that examine the complex significations of “Asia” in the literary and cultural production of early modern England. It posits that the interest in merchant and overseas ventures and fascination with foreign lands influenced the canonical literary works of the period and spurred Orientalism. While such major literary figures as Marlowe, Shakespeare, Bacon, Spenser, and Milton are considered for their contribution to the writing of early modern English Orientalism, theoretical questions pertaining to the significance of postcolonial criticism and cultural studies are also addressed in this groundbreaking volume.


“The essays in this eye-opening collection suggest not only that the Ottoman Empire, Mughal India, and China figured prominently in the early modern English imagination, but also that foundational works of the Renaissance literary canon emerged through an active engagement with the idea of Asia. By historicizing the production of Asia as a space of cultural alterity, the authors remind us powerfully that “the East” was never a stable category, but rather served as a productively mutable cultural token, steeped in the ambitions and anxieties of an island nation facing its first appearance on the world stage.”

David Porter, University of Michigan and author of
Ideographia: The Chinese Cipher in Early Modern Europe

The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia offers diverse and richly illuminating essays; it adds historical depth and breadth to our understanding of Renaissance cultural formations in their orientalist engagements.”

Jyotsna G. Singh, Professor, Michigan State University

For more on this book, click here.


2 Responses to “The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia”

  1. mary Says:

    Random, but do you have any way of contacting Enoch Ng of Firstfruits re a manuscript submission? There are no details AT ALL online. Much appreciated

  2. Gweek Says:

    Very random. You could [1] try the Firstfruits Facebook group? [2] Join the mailing list via its website and hope to get an email? [3] Ask one of Firstfruits writers, who should know?

    I’m unfortunately not one of them.

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