"Turning Turk" looks at contact between the English and other cultures in the early modern Mediterranean and analyses the representation of that experience on the London stage. Daniel Vitkus demonstrates that the English encounter with exotic alterity, and the theatrical representations inspired by that encounter, helped to form the emergent identity of an English nation that was eagerly fantasizing about having an empire but was still in the preliminary phase of its colonizing drive. Vitkus's research shows how plays about the multicultural Mediterranean participated in this process of identity formation and how anxieties about religious conversion, foreign trade and miscegenation were crucial factors in the formation of that identity .
DANIEL VITKUS is Assistant Professor of English at Florida State University. He has published articles on English Renaissance drama and culture, on European representations of Islam, and on cross-cultural encounters in the early modern period. He is also the editor of Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England and Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England.