MUSULMANES, ESPAÑOLES Y JUDÍOS EN LOS TEXTOS PRE-MODERNOS EN LENGUA INGLESA:
LA CONSTRUCCIÓN DEL "OTRO"
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Proyecto de investigación del Programa Nacional de Investigación Fundamental
VI Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica I+D+I 2008-2011
MUSLIMS, SPANIARDS AND JEWS IN EARLY MODERN ENGLISH TEXTS:
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE "OTHER"
Research Project supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation
National Plan for Scientific Research I+D+I
Welcome to the web page of the Project Muslims, Spaniards and Jews in Early Modern English Texts: The Construction of the Other, a Research Project funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain [National Plan for Scientific Research I+D+I -Ref. FFI2009-13165]. This Project will be conducted between January 2010 and December 2012 from the English Department of the University of Jaén (Spain).
In general terms, our research aims to study how identities were constructed and circulated in sixteenth and seventeenth century England by means of and through a diversity of texts. These identities, which are linked to the construction of Englishness and to all those we can collectively categorize as religious and ethnic Others (meaning aliens, strangers and foreigners), are considered to be fluid entities and envelop a variety of different semiospheres (in cultural semiotic and lotmanian terms) which form a part of ideological (i.e. religious, economic, political and ethnic/racial) discourses. We believe that these diverse literary (and consequently ideological) discourses in circulation in early modern England should show the complexity involved in this form of narrating otherness, and that they do this from their very uniqueness: from drama to emblems, from political discourses to pamphlets, from dictionaries to travel accounts. Furthermore, this complexity has much to do with protean features which characterise this category concerning identity: not only is there one, but multiple identities which we could name ‘Jewish’, ‘Catholic’, or ‘Muslim’. Moreover, although the latter all appear to be religiously and ethnically determined, they become more difficult to classify as they come to be related to different aspects involved in the forming of a modern national English identity: politics and economy or -in a word- ideology.
At the end of this process, one understands that the imaginary collective construction which we would use to name ‘England’ could only be comprehended in its entirety during this period (and mainly after) if it is possible to determine the degree of confrontation of the “English” population (meaning the strategies of rejection, incorporation and exclusion) with other collectives (and very specifically with Catholics, Muslims and Jews) due to their relevance in the English early modern period. Indeed, one can only comprehend the final result, the ‘England’ which emerged at the end of the seventeenth century, if we are able to correctly establish the participation of all the types of texts under study in such mechanisms and identity processes. Indeed, it will only be possible to understand the texts (of drama, of emblems, of travel books and pamphlets…), if they are comprehended not only from their aesthetic and social function but also from this ideological process.