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Early Modern Discussion Group | Dr Nailya Shamgunova

20 May, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Dr Nailya Shamgunova (Stipendiary Lecturer in History, Pembroke College, Oxford), ‘Mahometical Sodomits’? Male same-sex activity and the reception of Islam in early modern Anglophone discourses, c.1590-1720′. Dr Shamgunova has recently completed her PhD at Churchill College, Cambridge, on Anglophone encounters with the Ottoman Empire through the prism of same-sex activity. She is particularly interested in the developing field of transcultural and comparative history of emotions. Dr Shamgunova’s interdisciplinary work draws on history, literary studies, gender studies and queer studies.

This paper examines the ways in which reception of Islamic theology in early modern Anglophone cultures intersected with ‘othering’ of Turks and renegades as ‘sodomites’. This paper analyses the extent to which Islam was seen as an essentialising marker of difference, and the ways in which it was interpreted as condoning or condemning sodomy. It also looks at the effect a greater awareness of Islamic texts in Anglophone discourses, especially the first publication of the Qur’an in English in 1649, had on the immediate connection between Islam and sodomy. The paper argues that although the associations between Islamic societies and sodomy did not decrease throughout the period, those associations focused on the practice of Islam, a religious custom, rather than on the reception of the theology itself.


This seminar will be held online on Blackboard Collaborate. Register here via Eventbrite.


20 May, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Early Modern Discussion Group