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Projects | TIDE Project

29 April @ 5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

The next seminar in our ‘Projects’ seminar series will feature the TIDE Project (Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, c. 1550-1700).

The TIDE project, based at the University of Oxford and funded by the European Research Council, investigates how mobility in the first ‘global’ age of travel and discovery shaped English perceptions of human identity and belonging. The role of those marked by transcultural mobility was central to this period. Trade, diplomacy and politics, religious schisms, and shifts in legal systems attempted to control and formalise the identities of such figures. Our current world is all too familiar with the concepts that surfaced or evolved as a result: ‘foreigner’ and ‘stranger’, ‘alien’ and ‘exile’, ‘blackamoor’ and ‘Indian’. TIDE seeks to consolidate our fragmented understanding of cultural difference, race, and identity in the early modern period, and the ongoing impact of such categorizations in the contemporary world.

For this seminar, members of the TIDE project will explore case studies pertaining to transcultural lives in early modern England and abroad. Collectively, the seminar will invite a discussion about early modern transculturality and identity, raising broader methodological questions about conducting interdisciplinary work in the context of comparative or global history.

Nandini Das is a literary scholar and cultural historian, Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Exeter College. She has published widely on early modern English literature and cross-cultural encounters, as well as travel writing in general, including Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction, 1570–1620 (2011), and the Cambridge History of Travel Writing (2019), co-edited with Tim Youngs. She is Principal Investigator of the ERC-TIDE project.

TIDE’s post-doctoral team has 4 members:

Haig Smith works on religion and English overseas expansion into India, North America, and the Levant in the early modern period. His monograph, Religion and Governance in England’s Emerging Colonial Empire, 1601–1698, is forthcoming from Palgrave this year.

Emily Stevenson’s research examines the contextual communities and networks which surrounded Richard Hakluyt and his Principal Navigations, using a combination of social network mapping, literary and historical analysis.

Tom Roberts works on England’s engagement with the commedia dell’arte during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and how the form manifested in the cultural imagination of early modern London.

Lauren Working’s first book, The Making of an Imperial Polity: Civility and America in the Jacobean Metropolis (2020), explores the influence of English plantation and cross-cultural exchanges in the Americas on taste and politics in early Stuart London. She is a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker for 2021.

To read about some of the terms discussed in this session, see the open-access TIDE: Keywords – 36 short essays on critical concepts about travel, race, and identity, the product of several years of collaborative work by the TIDE team: http://www.tideproject.uk/keywords-home/. (in particular for the purposes of the seminar: ‘translator’, ‘agent’, ‘convert’, ‘settler’, ‘subject’ and ‘stranger’).

For more information on the project, see their website here.

Please register for this seminar through the Eventbrite page.


29 April
5:15 pm - 6:30 pm
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Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies