Connected Histories in the Early Modern World

Connected Histories in the Early Modern World contributes to our growing understanding of the connectedness of the world during a period in history when an unprecedented number of people—Africans, Asians, Americans, and Europeans—made transoceanic or other long distance journeys. Inspired by Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s innovative approach to early modern historical scholarship, it explores topics that highlight the cultural impact of the movement of people, animals, and objects at a global scale. The series editors welcome proposals for monographs and collections of essays in English from literary critics, art historians, and cultural historians that address the changes and cross-fertilizations of cultural practices of specific societies. General topics may concern, among other possibilities: cultural confluences, objects in motion, appropriations of material cultures, cross-cultural exoticization, transcultural identities, religious practices, translations and mistranslations, cultural impacts of trade, discourses of dislocation, globalism in literary/visual arts, and cultural histories of lesser studied regions (such as the Philippines, Macau, African societies).

Geographical Scope

Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Asia

Chronological Scope

1400 – 1700


Global renaissance, early modern studies, world history, cross-cultural engagements, cultural translations, connected histories

Editorial Contact

Titles in Production or Contracted

Montserrat Piera (Temple University), Remapping Travel Narratives, 1000-1700: To the East and Back Again

Kimberly Poitevin (Salem State University), Making Up Race in Early Modern England: Women, Cosmetics, and the Invention of Whiteness

John Beusterien (Texas Tech University), Transoceanic Animals as Spectacle in Early Modern Spain

Mevhibe Pinar Emiralioglu (Sam Houston State University), The Ottoman Enlightenment: Geography and Politics in the Early Modern World

Ameer Sohrawardy (Rutgers University), Shared Spaces in Anglo-Ottoman Literature, 1547-1675: Terrestrial, Maritime, Pestilential, and Subterranean

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Series Editors

Christina Lee

Christina Lee is a tenured research scholar in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She was born in South Korea and raised in Argentina. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a concentration in Latin American literature (1995) and earned a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures at Princeton (1999). She returned to Princeton as Associate Research Scholar in 2007 in the History Department, after working as Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College. She joined the Spanish and Portuguese department in 2009 and was promoted to Research Scholar with Continuing Appointment in 2015.

Her publications include: The Anxiety of Sameness in Early Modern Spain (Manchester University Press, 2015), the collection of essays Western Visions of Far East in a Transpacific Age (Routledge [Ashgate], 2012), Reading and Writing Subjects in Medieval and Golden Age Spain: Essays in Honor of Ronald E. Surtz (with José Luis Gastañaga, Juan de la Cuesta, 2016), and the Spanish edition of Lope de Vega’s Los mártires de Japón (Juan de la Cuesta, 2006). She is also the co-editor of the global history book series Connected Histories in Early Modern Europe (with Julia Schleck).

Christina Lee’s current book project examines the sacred world of the Spanish Philippines during the early colonial period.

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Julia Schleck

Professor Schleck’s interests and research include Renaissance literature, travel writing and early modern colonial writing, Renaissance music, history of science, genre studies, and cultural materialism/Marxism. She is additionally interested in Queer Theory, particularly queer approaches to Renaissance literature. She regularly teaches courses on Shakespeare, Renaissance Literature, and Intro to Literary Study. Julia Schleck is currently working on a book that examines early modern English travel and news reports treating the Ottoman Empire and Persia.

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Advisory Board

Michael Laffan

I study the history of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, focusing at present on Islam, nationalism, Dutch colonialism and orientalism. I earned my B.A. in Asian Studies (Arabic) at the Australian National University in Canberra (1995) and got my Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History from the University of Sydney (2001). I came to Princeton in 2005 from a postdoctoral fellowship at the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands. In my first book, Islamic Nationhood and Colonial Indonesia: The Umma Below the Winds (2003), I argued that Islam played a central and largely unacknowledged role in the Indonesian nationalist movement, which historians have tended to associate mainly with a secular, Dutch-educated elite.

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Ricardo Padrón

Ricardo Padrón is an Associate Professor of Spanish. He holds a BA in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia, an MA in Divinity from the University of Chicago, and an MA and Ph.D. in Romance Languages from Harvard University. He is interested in the literature and culture of the early modern Hispanic world, particularly in the various expressions of the Hispanic imperial imagination. His first book, The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature and Empire in Early Modern Spain, was published in 2004 by the University of Chicago Press. Inspired by the work in contemporary critical geography, the book examines both maps and literary works from sixteenth-century Spain in the light of the changing conceptualizations of space and rationalizations of empire. His current work focusses on Spanish interest in Pacific and Asia in the wake of the Encounter with the Americas. He has also published on the poetry of Garcilaso de la Vega, Fernando de Herrera, and Luis de Góngora, as well as on the mapping of imaginary worlds throughout the modern period. His work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation with United States Universities, and the University of Virginia’s School of Arts and Sciences.

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Elizabeth Rodini

My undergraduate degrees are in history and Italian language and literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1986). I received my PhD in art history from the University of Chicago (1995), where I wrote a dissertation on representations of the Levant in late medieval and early Renaissance Venice. From 1998 to 2003, I was the Mellon Projects Curator at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, tasked with building connections between faculty, students, and the work of the museum. Among the many exhibitions I co-curated and catalogues I edited at the Smart were The Place of the Antique in Early Modern EuropeThe Theatrical Baroque, and Paper Museums: The Reproductive Print in Europe, 1500-1800.

In 2004, I moved to Baltimore to become a liaison between the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, and Johns Hopkins University, and in 2006 I became the founding director of the Program in Museums and Society. I continue to work actively with the BMA and the Walters as well as number of other area museums and to be interested in building productive relationships between museums and universities (see my 2007 article “The Ivory Tower and the Crystal Palace,” which explores those relationships in detail). A 2010 grant of nearly $500,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for which I am the primary investigator, has allowed Museums and Society to continue building innovative, productive relationships with local museums. This grant was renewed in 2013, allowing us to develop a new series of collaborations with museums of art, archaeology, and science.

I am active in the academic museum community. In 2013, I was a panelist at the conference on “Teaching Museums in the 21st Century” at the Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, and in 2014 I participated in a workshop on “Future Careers in Art Museums of the Future” at the annual meeting of the College Art Association. I have served as a consultant at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and have been a field editor for exhibition reviews at I am currently active on several museum advisory committees including at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, and the JHU Archaeology Museum and Homewood Museums. I am also a book reviewer for several academic journals.

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Kaya Şahin

I am a historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire, with a particular interest in history writing, governance, religious/confessional identity, and the construction of discourses/fictions around the question of what it meant to be an Ottoman.

My first book revolves around the life and writings of an Ottoman career bureaucrat, Celalzade Mustafa (ca. 1490-1567), and discusses the rise of a new Ottoman bureaucracy, the emergence of a new historical consciousness, and the creation of an Ottoman imperial culture that saw itself in direct competition with the Habsburgs and the Safavids. I argue that Ottoman attempts at empire-building in the first half of the sixteenth century reflect the general trends of a world-historical moment, and that the Ottomans have to be evaluated together with a host of other polities extending from Tudor England to Mughal India and beyond.

I see early modern Eurasia as a relatively unified ecological, political and cultural zone; and early modernity as a crucial period that allows us to critically re-evaluate modernity. Without ignoring the specificity of any local/regional experiences, I continue to use a comparative approach in my current research projects, which deal with issues such as the cultural and religious aspects of the Ottoman-Safavid rivalry in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the European views/representations of the early modern Sunni-Shiite divide, and the fabrication of consent and legitimacy in early modern Eurasian empires.

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