A West Virginia University English professor has written a book that analyzes how the British stage portrayed Muslims in the 16 th and 17 th centuries.
Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624by Jonathan Burton examines cross-cultural exchanges between Muslims and the West and the representation of these encounters in early modern British theater.
Tracing the relationships between English, Ottoman and North African sources to examine the discourse on Muslims,Traffic and Turningexplores the theater and its relationship in both shaping this discourse and being shaped by it.
Burton offers a theoretical analysis of more than 60 dramatic texts, both well-known and obscure, and argues that a pattern emerged that shaped the nature of these representations. He argues that for a world increasingly drawn into commerce with Muslims in the 16th and early 17th centuries, the central issue concerned how to approach Turkish culture without compromising Western ideology.
An associate professor, Burton teaches courses in Shakespeare, early modern literature and postcolonial studies. His current projects includeA Documentary Companion to the Study of Race in the Renaissance and High School Shakespeare: The Teaching of Shakespeare in America.He earned a doctorate in English literature from City University of New York.