Representation of the East in Commercial Theatres and University Drama in the Early Modern Period (edited collection)

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Medieval and Early Modern Orients
contact email: 

Representation of the East in Commercial Theatres and University Drama in the Early Modern Period (edited collection)


Contact email:


Call for Chapters: Edited Collection


Current studies have brough new insights into early modern English drama, with a focus on how architectures and performance spaces were created and could have affected audience reactions in a given time period. Studies on commercial outdoor and indoor theatres and court spaces along with performances in replica theatres of Shakespeare’s Globe, American Shakespeare Center or Red Bull Theater, to name a few, contributed to our understanding of actor-audience interactions and the production phases of early modern English theatres.

Although Shakespeare’s plays still take the centre stage in these studies, non-Shakespearean plays have been more and more incorporated in these studies to have a broader view on early modern theatrical performances of otherwise more popular playwrights and plays of the period. One of the most popular content matter in the early modern English stage was the representations of people from the “East” that attracted audiences with ornate costumes, exotic subject matter and political references. The sheer number of plays about and references to Turks, Persians, Arabs, Indians, Scythians, Tartars, Chinese, Japanese and many more real and imaginary ethnic groups in the period underscored how these geographically distant people and their real/imagined lives were of interest for early modern English people.  

Nevertheless, despite the popularity of plays about the East, the representation of the East in early modern commercial theatres and university drama have been either overlooked, marginalised as footnotes, or generalised into taken-for-granted stereotypes. Yet, there is a need to focus on the multi-layered, often conflicting and changing perception of the East and how dramatic works made use of their respective theatrical space to represent the concept of the East in drama. Accordingly, this volume aims to re‑examine the (mis)representation of the East in commercial theatre and university productions in early modern English drama to broaden our understanding of early modern theatrical productions beyond Shakespeare and beyond the European continent. For this purpose, the chapters of this volume will analyse how stage architecture, costumes, and effects of performance affect the conceptualisation of the East on the commercial outdoor and indoor stage and on the performance spaces in university plays.

The chapters of this volume will deal with non-Shakespearean plays from the Elizabethan, Jacobean, Caroline, and Restoration periods. Plays to be analysed may include, but are not restricted to

  • Preston’s Cambyses (1569)
  • Solymannidea (1581)
  • Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London (c. 1581)
  • Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy (1587)
  • Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great (Part 1 and Part 2) (1587)
  • Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta (1588)
  • Greene's Alphonso, King of Aragon (1588)
  • Peele’s Turkish Mahomet and Hyren the Faire Greek (1588)
  • Peele’s Battle of Alcazar (1591)
  • Kyd’s Soliman and Perseda (1592)
  • Greene’s The Historie of Orlando Furioso (1592)
  • Greene’s Selimus (1594)
  • Heywood’s The Famous History of the Life and Death of Thomas Stukely (1596)
  • Greville’s Alaham (c. 1598)
  • Dekker’s Lust’s Dominion (1600)
  • Ben Jonson’s The Masque of Blackness (1605)
  • Greville’s Mustapha (1606)
  • Goffe’s The Raging Turk (1618)
  • Dabonre’s A Christian Turned Turk (1618)
  • Goffe’s The Courageous Turk (1619)
  • Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Knight of Malta (1619)
  • Middleton and Rowley’s All’s Lost by Lust (1620)
  • Massinger’s Renegado (1623)
  • Heywood’s The Fair Maid of the West (1631)
  • Fletcher’s The Island Princess (1647)
  • Davenant’s Siege of Rhodes (1663)
  • Boyle’s Mustapha (1668)
  • Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe (1676)

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to both Murat Öğütcü (Munzur University) at and Aisha Hussain (University of Salford) at before the 15th of March 2021. Notification of acceptance will be sent to contributors no later than the 30th of April, and the deadline for full chapters (no longer than 7,000 words) will be the 15th of December 2021.

The Editors

Murat Öğütcü is Assistant Professor in the Department of Western Languages and Literatures at Munzur University, where he has been the head of the department from 2016 onwards. He received his PhD degree on Shakespeare’s history plays from the Department of English Language and Literature at Hacettepe University, Turkey, in 2016. From August 2012 to January 2013, he was a visiting scholar at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has written book chapters and articles on his research interests that include early modern studies, Shakespeare, drama studies, cultural studies, adaptation studies, ecocriticism and early modern history. He is a researcher at Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs) and is interested in Anglo-Turkish social and political relationships, particularly from 1500 to 1660. Currently he is working on the representation of the Turk in neo-Latin academic drama and in lost commercial plays in early modern England. He tweets @MuratOgutcu1985

Aisha Hussain oversees the Events page at Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs). She is a PhD candidate at the University of Salford whose research interests include of Turkish Otherness, fictional terror, Anglo-Ottoman commerce, gender studies, Orientalism, and, in particular, crusading and anti-crusading discourses in early modern English drama. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama (University of Salford, 2017) and a Master of Arts in Renaissance English Literature (University of Leeds, 2018). Aisha was awarded the Pathways to Excellence Studentship by the University of Salford upon commencing her PhD studies in September 2018. Her current research investigates how the emergence of a more positive theatrical Turkish type in the works of Fulke Greville, Thomas Goffe and Roger Boyle reflects, in a shift from their contemporaries, what can be considered an anti-crusading discourse. She tweets @AishaHussain96. She can also be reached at