The “Atlantic” has been a concern in early modern literary and cultural studies for some time now, but the vanishing point of most work on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England is England’s relation to its mainland colonies. This seminar changes the perspective on early modern English literature and history by privileging the heterogeneous traffic in goods, people, and ideas that constituted England’s contact with Africa and the West Indies. Focusing particularly on the circulation of foodstuffs in the seventeenth century, participants will investigate early modern England’s development of its Caribbean colonies, asking what ideas about cultural and racial differences circulated and were created in the interactions between Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and America? How did newly available commodities and their production influence England’s cultural imagination? With the production and consumptions of foodstuffs as the focus of discussion, the seminar will give sustained attention to women and gender, as well as highlight connections between households and the currents of trade flowing through the Atlantic. Food--simultaneously physical, aesthetic, political, and mercantile--will also allow the class to address a range of concerns: the development of racialized labor and slavery, the influence of ideologies of the “household,” the emergence of capitalism, colonial rivalry, conspicuous consumption, and the performance of status.
Please visit the Institute's website for more information and application materials.
The Folger Institute
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003-1094
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)