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Who owns history?
While the question may seem facetious or even non-sensical (for how can someone own a time period?), this question as well as any sums up the stakes of studying early modern Europe. With the global rise of nationalist movements and white supremacist discourse, extremist groups whose names I do not wish to publicize or legitimize by listing them here have sought to appropriate the Medieval and Renaissance periods in Europe as their white property. In doing so, they falsely mythologize these historical eras as periods of cultural superiority that are inextricably linked to a false narrative of racial purity. As such, they seek to claim this history as solely their property and use it as a guide to build what they view as a better tomorrow lacking diversity and inclusivity.
I wish this discourse was contained solely to hate groups, but unfortunately, the insidious belief of racial purity and pre-modern (and perhaps even modern) Europe as white property permeate academic settings as well. To even begin to discuss the racist roots of academic constructs such as “Western Civilization” and “Otherness” unleashes a blowback from the majority white, male fields that publicly joke about their homogeneity. Renaissance Race Studies has, from nascent stages in the 1990s, been subject to claims of irrelevance and anachronism from Renaissance Studies writ-large, most specifically New Historicists, who claim that history and literature were inextricable. Ian Smith takes these debates to task,  however, arguing that, “Fetishizing historical accuracy is to claim the high moral ground of sound scholarship, a position from which to disguise resistance to race work, from which to promote a singular perspective and methodology as acceptable while placing firm restrictions on others.” In other words, the calls for “historical accuracy” are less about methodology than they are about access, ownership, and power. These calls for “historical accuracy” rarely take the time to offer caveats and critiques of the standards for “accuracy” and to identify who had the privilege of recording the evidence that positivists use to construct “history.”
Yet still, the community of premodern critical race scholars persists. Even more, we flourish. Over the past decade, as more non-white scholars enter into these fields that are historically homogeneous both in terms of gender and race, major organizations in Medieval and Renaissance Studies have engaged in conflict over the field’s inherent racism. While some of these conflicts have borne productive fruit, such as the Renaissance Society of America beginning to offer diversity grants for attending their annual conference and the Shakespeare Association of America giving voice to Race Studies in their 2019 plenary session, those who call out the racism often suffer greater attacks than those who perpetrate the racism.
The conflict over the role of race in the study of pre-modern Europe has led scholars of Renaissance England to begin asking the very question that begins this introduction: who owns history? Margo Hendricks’s 2007 article, “Race: A Renaissance Category?” avoids the deployment of color to argue for the primacy of race in Renaissance Studies and instead looks at the ways in which the category structured Renaissance identities through  its interaction with lineage, inheritance, and the Renaissance theory of “generation,” in which notions of illegitimacy of the father brought forth by a lack of resemblance could be explained by attributing the difference to the mother’s imagination. Hendricks thus challenges the notion that Renaissance England was a period of “racial purity” by establishing race as an ordering mechanism for English identity and society without collapsing into a discourse purely of color. Arthur Little, Jr., has even gone as far as to openly ask the questions, “Is Shakespeare or the Renaissance/early modern period white property?… Is there something of a working assumption in early modern studies that the early modern period … is a field for the unmarked, that is for “white” scholars and those who can so masterfully transform themselves?” With this, Little is challenging all of us to think of race not only as a deviation from an assumed white normativity, but also to think about the ways in which that assumed normativity structures our knowledge of premodern history and the present structure of the academy.
As the field of early modern studies continues to becomes more accessible to diverse ways of thinking and diverse bodies, scholars in the field that previously excluded or denigrated such perspectives have begun to create new spaces. Although times are changing and the academy is becoming more progressive in many ways, albeit with significant backlashes, the study of race in the Renaissance still faces resistance. At this point, however, the arguments against race as a valid category of analysis for early modern studies have largely been debunked; yet, the tired clichés of anachronism and the dangerous assumptions of racial purity persist. The anxiety around scholarship on race in early modern England has led to the unfortunate but understandable use of scare-quotes to surround the term, a problematic device that has been called out by scholars such  as Kim F. Hall, Margo Hendricks, Patricia Parker, Matthieu Chapman, and others.
With the rise of white nationalist thought and fascist violence against racial minorities, the stakes for studies of race in pre-modern periods have never been higher. Along with these raised stakes, however, comes an increased threat of violence and anger that can destabilize and undermine any attempts at productive conversation. So how does one discuss race in a period that a majority of both the academic and broader communities consider occurred prior to race? More importantly, how do we bring the potential tinderbox of race into our classrooms in a constructive way that accounts for the knee jerk aversion to these discussions?
Renaissance Race Studies agrees with New Historicism that race in Renaissance Europe did not function the same way it does today. That said, to assume that the vast network of racialized thought that existed in Renaissance Europe exists in a temporal vacuum that has no influence or genealogy with the modes of racialized thinking that exist in today’s world is the far more dangerous fallacy. The field of Renaissance Race Studies has largely come to embrace the challenges presented by claims of anachronism and, as such, has utilized varying methodologies to unpack a multifaceted network of intersecting discourses in early modern Europe that deploy racialized grammars to articulate varying identities and subjectivities. These grammars address not only the physical being, but the diverse and complex network of racial thinking that encapsulates multiple forms of difference including the physical, the genealogical, the meta-physical, and the psychic.
In the past few years, the catchphrase “Race Before Race” has become a productive framework for displacing the Enlightenment as the origin of racial thinking and working beyond the often bad-faith claims of anachronism. Prominent organizations such as the Folger Shakespeare Library,  the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Shakespeare’s Globe in London have all held symposia, lectures, and other events under the banner of “Race before Race” with the purpose of expanding awareness of the discourse concerning race in the early modern era and its impact and influence on racial thinking today. This framework analyzes the vast network of inter-connected discourse, vocabularies, and practices that structured social order prior to the Enlightenment’s pseudo-scientific invention of race while offering a direct challenge to the Enlightenment’s long-standing (and fallacious) position as the era that birthed racial discourse.
Unpacking the myriad ways in which race existed before race is perhaps best accomplished by examining and describing the individual threads of racialized discourse that Europeans deployed to construct social order. In her introduction to Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, Ania Loomba describes the “Vocabularies of Race” that articulate difference in early modern England. She identifies three primary streams of discourses that deploy a racializing vocabulary to construct difference: 1. “Skin, colour, religion, and community”; 2. “cross-cultural encounters”; and 3. “gender, class and national differences.” While Loomba’s taxonomy provides a port from which to launch our exploration, in the almost twenty years since her review of both early modern and modern literature that deploys racializing discourse, scholars working on race in Renaissance England have not only offered new cartographies of racial vocabulary, but have also charted new waters in the exploration and unpacking of racial thinking that existed in the period. While these streams rarely appear independent from one another, I find it useful to discuss these streams  as individual categories. Going forward, I will offer a new and expanded vocabularies of race for Renaissance Europe that divides Loomba’s streams into their individual tributaries and also accounts for the advancements in the field since Loomba’s description.
This new vocabulary outlines ten different modes of racial thought in Early Modern Europe: blood and genealogy, nation, religion, color, gender, transnational constructions, processes and actions, pseudo-scientific, materiality, and subjectivity. With such a broad spectrum of racial thought present in Early Modern Europe, it would be impossible to include a comprehensive review of the literature. Rather, this chapter is meant to serve as an introduction to and foundation for discussing Early Modern European conceptions of race in contemporary classrooms. Although I define each of the threads individually, the network of racial thought is so interconnected that, while I categorize the works into one framework, each work mentioned includes multiple iterations of race in their analyses. Lastly, while the sources I used to decipher these modes comes primarily from the study of race in Early Modern England, these discourses appear throughout the continent, and the pieces in this collection engage with these modes regardless of geographical area of analysis.
Grammars of Racial Difference in Early Modern Europe
The earliest uses in the English language of the term race to describe human difference comes in the Earl of Surrey’s 1547 translation of the ancient Roman poet Virgil’s Aeneid. In this context, the term race refers to the blood and genealogy (bloodlines and kinship) of the varying tribes of Italy: the Trojans, the Rutulians, and the Ausonians. Jean Feerick’s Strangers in Blood argues that the emergence of skin color-based designations of race depend on “the decline of a deeply established system of difference that places a metaphysical value on bloodline independent of  color, complexion, or culture.” The discourse of tribe and kinship found in the Earl of Surrey’s translation of Virgil would later come to manifest through the interpretation of nation, particularly national difference, as racial difference. Scott Oldenburg uses this understanding of race to argue for intersection between blackness, family genealogy, and national identity in his 2001 article, “The Riddle of Blackness in England’s National Family Romance.” Oldenburg uses numerous examples from early modern texts of Black characters representing the negation of goodness to argue that these characters represent the negative aspects of Oedipal transference, thus leaving the positive aspects, which read white, as the enabling transference that constructs a racialized English national identity. Also in this stream is John Michael Archer’s Old Worlds: Egypt, Southwest Asia, India, and Russia in Early Modern English Writing. Archer analyzes English travel narratives and dramatic texts to argue that the English not only used racialized distinctions to rank within a taxonomy New World peoples and cultures, but also interpreted and constructed racialized differences between themselves and the Old World cultures and nations described in Archer’s title.
In each of these works on blood and nation as racial categories, color is already finding its way into the discourse through the deployment of blackness. These color markers distinguishing peoples in early modern England find their way into the discourse on race primarily through religion, specifically religious discourses, the third stream of racial thought in the period. Manicheanism, which posited a universe constructed along a divide between light and dark, was one of the most widespread religions  in the world between the third and seventh centuries. These ideas found their way into Christianity in the fourth century through St. Augustine’s interpretations of biblical texts. This division persisted for over a millennium into early modern England, where both in texts and in performance, dramatists and players represented God as light and the Devil as black. In The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama 1350–1642, John D. Cox argues that the “binary distinction between God and the devil became the model for a series of parallel positions that influenced thinking about science, history, religion, and politics,” and of course, race. Dennis Britton’s Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance offers one of the most compelling articulations of the intersection of religion and race in England, arguing that “the Church of England’s baptismal theology transformed Christians and “infidels” into distinctive races.” He concludes that “[l]abels like “Jew,” “Turk,” and “Moor” embrace both racial and religious identities” that make it difficult, if not impossible, to know if the term is meant to describe a person’s ethnicity, culture, religion, or all of the above. Robert Hornback’s Racism and Early Blackface Comic Performance continues the conversation between religious and nationalist discourses on race, arguing that “Renaissance nationalism was frequently proto-racist — a kind of Christian nationalism allied, paradoxically, to racist/prejudiced constructions of pan-European whiteness aiming to colonize, subjugate, plunder, exploit, and/or expel dark-complexion  Strangers … ” These works, while offering distinct viewpoints on the matter, each prioritize religion in their discussion of racialization.
The division between black and white that originated in religious texts would eventually find grounding in the physical body and manifest as skin color as a means of articulating racialized difference. Sujata Iyengar’s Shades of Difference: Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England argues that notions of race as related to embodiment and skin color can only be understood in their historical, geographical, and literary contexts. For Iyengar, the literary contexts, the construction of myths and narratives of difference, played the primary role in the creation of color-based racial identities. Cristina Malcolmson’s Studies of Skin Color in the Early Royal Society: Boyle, Cavendish, Swift also takes a skin-color based approach to analyzing race; however, instead of relying on literature, Malcolmson looks at the relationships between science, government, colonialism, and the slave trade that produced ideas about race. Imtiaz Habib takes an archival approach to racialized color difference in Black Lives in the English Archives: Imprints of the Invisible. This collection of historical documents referencing dark-complexioned people in England includes an analysis of the role the archive played in the construction of racial difference in early modern England.
Recently, scholars such as Gary Taylor, Arthur Little, Jr., and David Sterling Brown have begun to re-interpret the color divide of early modern race studies to decentralize whiteness as the normative, un-racialized body. Gary Taylor’s Buying Whiteness: Race, Culture and Identity from Columbus to Hip Hop is a survey of five centuries of literary texts, art, and popular culture that seeks to examine the formation of whiteness  as a racial category. Arthur Little’s Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property argues that the English subject constructed an ideal version of whiteness that was unattainable by the subject, thus racializing the subject in relation to their own whiteness and producing an existential melancholia. Patricia Akhimie’s Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference analyzes racial discourse and thought in Shakespearean works that do not contain a character who is othered by their skin tone.
The Manichean binaries or black and white, good and evil, God and Devil would also lead to the development of gender as a racialized difference in early modern English thought. Kim F. Hall’s Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England is among the works that influenced not only arguments of gender as a racialized construct, but the field of Renaissance Race Studies as a whole. Hall argues that “the polarity of light and dark articulates ongoing cultural concerns over gender roles and shifting trade structures” and that “dark and light, rather than being mere indications of Elizabethan beauty standards or markers of moral categories, became in the early modern period the conduit through which the English began to formulate notions of “self” and “other.”” Joyce Green MacDonald’s Women and Race in Early Modern Texts examines the racial identities of female characters, audiences, and writers in early modern England to argue that gender and racial formations inform each other. Lara Bovilsky’s Barbarous Play: Race on the English Renaissance Stage examines shifts in individual identity on the  Renaissance stage, arguing that these shifts reveal deep parallels between the categories of race and gender in early modern England.
In the last few years, scholars have recognized that the Early Modern period does not fit so easily into the nation state analysis that academia has relied on since the 1940s and have begun to shift to an approach to the past that engages with notions of “connected histories” and other transnational constructions. Connected histories do not assume that nation-states existed in a vacuum that produced homogeneous and independent cultures and societies, but rather prefers to operate under the assumptive logic that the world is interconnected through travel, trade, commerce, and culture. Studies of race in early modern England have also recently begun to engage in connected histories of the topic that seek to uncover and analyze the trans-national and trans-cultural exchanges that inform ideations of race. Susan D. Amussen’s Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700 explores the circulation of race between England and the Caribbean, arguing that Caribbean slaveowning practices informed the construction of England’s racial whiteness. The collection Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies, edited by Cassander L. Smith, Nicholas Jones, and Miles Parks Grier, creates a bridge between Black studies and early modern studies by examining the interconnectedness of notions of blackness as they relate to culture, bodies, and history across national boundaries ranging from England to Spain to the Caribbean.
In addition to the bodily conceptions of race, scholars have begun to argue that certain processes and actions in early modern England intersected with and produced racialized discourse. Ayanna Thompson’s Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage analyzes scenes of torture in early modern drama to argue that the torture of racialized flesh  reveals a paradoxical idea of race as both a construction and essential in the eyes of the early modern English subject. Ian Smith’s Race and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: Barbarian Errors argues that the early modern English subject used language as a marker of civility to separate themselves from barbarous Africans, thus making language inextricably linked with the formation of racial identities. Also in this category is Elizabeth Spiller’s Reading and the History of Race in the Renaissance. Spiller argues that the early modern English subject understood reading as something that happened both in and to the body, and thus what you read could change what you were, including altering one’s racial identity.
This period also had its share of pseudo-scientific discourses on race. English translations of classical texts reignited interest in Climate Theory, which posited that skin color was a product of geographical latitude, and Humoral Theory, which argued that color was reflective of an internal imbalance between the bodily fluids of phlegm, blood, black bile, and yellow bile. Mary Floyd-Wilson’s English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama argues that the early modern English subject re-interpreted and re-imagined these discourses to alter their original depiction of the English as “impressible, barbaric, and inversely defined by the traits and temperament of dark peoples on the other side of the world.” Race was such a powerful tool for structuring society that the English subject rewrote science to affirm white superiority.
In addition to the physical body and bodily practice, scholars have also argued that materiality and certain materials were racialized as part of English subject formation, thus creating a discourse in which materials play a role in racial identity formation. Virginia Mason Vaughan’s Performing Blackness on English Stages, 1500–1800 argues that the ways in which  the stage portrayed blackness, including costumes, cosmetics, narrative tropes, character types, and physical performances all played a role in English racial formations. Andrea Stevens’s Inventions of the Skin: The Painted Body in Early English Drama 1400–1642 discusses the use of blackface cosmetics on the English stage to portray race and how it allowed the ideas of the characters’ racial formation to circulate into society as a whole. Ian Smith’s seminal “Othello’s Black Handkerchief” argues that both scholars and practitioners have appropriated the handkerchief in Othello to construct a formation of blackness that denies black subjectivity.
On the notion of subjectivity, recently scholars have begun to use modern Critical Race Theory to unpack racial logics in early modern England and challenge that not only is race a category of human, but also race is used to define what it means to be human. Matthieu Chapman’s Anti-black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other “Other” uses contemporary Afro-Pessimist Theory to argue that chattel slavery in America is the product of the English constructing their humanity through antiblackness, thus rendering Black Africans as ontologically inhuman.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the scholarship that addresses race in early modern England, but rather is meant to provide a foundation for understanding the myriad conceptualizations of race in early modern England and the work currently being done on the topic. Unpacking the discursive threads deployed by these scholars provides a useful vocabulary for discussing race throughout early modern Europe. The multifaceted, intersecting network of racialized discourses in early modern England manifest throughout the scholarly spectrum, leaving no field of inquiry untouched and no body, regardless of the descriptors used, unmarked. To discuss history is to discuss humanity, and to discuss  humanity is to discuss race. To approach discussions of race in the Renaissance, however, requires expanding the vocabularies with which we typically approach race in the modern era. I encourage you to proceed through this volume not only questioning what it means for a body to be raced in early modern England and elsewhere, but also the different ways in which bodies, ideas, and imaginations can be raced and what it means in those cases in which race goes unremarked. As you approach the forthcoming chapters on England and texts from early modern England in your classes, think beyond race as purely a difference in skin color and keep in mind the many different ways in which race appears in early modern English society, culture, and politics as well as the texts, discourses, knowledge, and performances they produce.
Questions for Discussion
- Think of the texts you know from early modern England that deal with race. Which of these categories appear in those texts? How do they appear?
- How do these individual strains of racial grammar intersect and diverge in the discourse, texts, and performances of early modern England?
- Are there other grammars of difference in early modern England that intersect with or could be better articulated through race?
- In what ways do these grammars manifest in other regional, national, and geographical discourses? What other strains of racialized grammar do other nations deploy to construct difference?
- While contemporary discourse often defines race purely through difference in skin color, this difference is often discussed in relation to these categories. In what ways do these early modern English categories of race continue to manifest today?
- J. Clara Chan, “Medievalists, Recoiling from White Supremacy, Try to Diversify the Field,” Chronicle of Higher Education. 16 July 2017, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Medievalists-Recoiling-From/240666. ↵
- For examples of how Renaissance Studies attempted to kneecap Renaissance Race Studies, see Stephen Greenblatt, “Racial Memory and Literary History,” Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (2001): 48–63; and William C. Jordan “Why “Race”? Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 31.1 (2001): 165–173; among others. ↵
- Ian Smith, “We Are Othello: Speaking of Race in Early Modern Studies,” Shakespeare Quarterly 67.1 (2016): 104–124. ↵
- See “An Open Letter in Support of a Besieged Academic,” National Association of Scholars 16 Aug. 2018, https://www.nas.org/blogs/dicta/an_open_letter_for_a_besieged_academic; Peter Wood, “Anatomy of a Smear,” Inside Higher Ed. 30 Sep. 2018, https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2018/09/10/slurring-medieval-scholar-attempt-silence-those-who-disagree-opinion; Dorothy Kim, “Medieval Studies Since Charlottesville.” Inside Higher Ed. 30 Aug. 2018, https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2018/08/30/scholar-describes-being-conditionally-accepted-medieval-studies-opinion. ↵
- Margo Hendricks, “Race: A Renaissance Category?” A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture (New York: Wiley, 2010), 535–544. ↵
- Arthur L. Little, Jr., “Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property,” Shakespeare Quarterly 67.1 (2016): 84–103; 88. ↵
- See Kim F. Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1995), 6–7; Margo Hendricks and Patricia Parker, eds., Women, “Race,” and Writing in the Early Modern Period (New York: Routledge, 1994) 1–3; Matthieu Chapman, Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other “Other” (New York: Routledge, 2016), 7–9. ↵
- The period of the Enlightenment (1650 to mid-1800s) gave birth to notions of “scientific racism,” a belief that races could be separated into various species through Anthropology, Phrenology, Craniometry, and other disciplines and pseudo-sciences. Although long debunked by science, the works during this period from the likes of Henri de Boulainvilliers, Carl Linnaeus, Georges Cuviers, Arthur Schopenhauer are often fallaciously considered to be the genesis of racial thinking because they were among the first to describe, codify, and classify solid racial categories, even though these categories and the criteria used to establish them were unscientific and bigoted. ↵
- Ania Loomba, Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002), 6. ↵
- Virgil Certain bokes of Virgiles Aeneis (transl. Earl of Surrey) 1st edition of bk. II; new edition of bk. IV, 1557 (1 vol.). [London]: Apud Ricardum Tottel. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum STC 24798. ↵
- Jean E. Feerick, Strangers in Blood: Relocating Race in the Renaissance (Toronto: Toronto UP, 2010) 5. ↵
- Scott Oldenburg, “The Riddle of Blackness in England’s National Family Romance,” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 1.1 (Spring/Summer 2001): 46–62. ↵
- Oldenburg, “The Riddle of Blackness,” 59. ↵
- John Michael Archer’s Old Worlds: Egypt, Southwest Asia, India, and Russia in Early Modern English Writing (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2001). ↵
- For further discussion of the influence of Manicheanism on English religion, see Joseph R. Washington. Anti-blackness in English Religion, 1500–1800 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1984). ↵
- See Matthieu Chapman, Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other “Other” (New York: Routledge, 2016), 36–39. ↵
- John Cox, The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama 1350–1642 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000), 6. ↵
- Dennis Austin Britton, Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance (New York: Fordham UP, 2014), 4. ↵
- Britton, Becoming Christian, 6. ↵
- Robert Hornback, Racism and Early Blackface Comic Traditions: From the Old World to the New (New York: Springer, 2018), 271. ↵
- Sujata Iyengar, Shades of Difference: Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England (Philadelphia: Cambridge University Press, 2004). ↵
- Iyegnar, Shades of Difference, 1. ↵
- Cristina Malcolmson, Studies of Skin Color in the Early Royal Society: Boyle, Cavendish, Swift (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013). ↵
- Imtiaz Habib, Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677: Imprints of the Invisible (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008). ↵
- Gary Taylor, Buying Whiteness: Race, Culture and Identity from Columbus to Hip Hop (New York: Palgrave, 2005). ↵
- Arthur L. Little, Jr., “Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property.” Shakespeare Quarterly 67.1 (2016): 84–103. ↵
- Patricia Akhimie. Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World (New York: Routledge, 2018). ↵
- Kim F. Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1995): 2. ↵
- Joyce Green MacDonald, Women and Race in Early Modern Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002). ↵
- Lara Bovilsky, Barbarous Play: Race on the English Renaissance Stage (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2008). ↵
- Susan Amussen, Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640–1700 (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2007). ↵
- Cassander L. Smith, Nicholas R. Jones, and Miles P. Grier, eds., Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies: A Critical Anthology (New York: Springer, 2018). ↵
- Ayanna Thompson, Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage (New York: Routledge, 2013). ↵
- Ian Smith, Race and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: Barbarian Errors (New York: Springer, 2009). ↵
- Elizabeth Spiller, Reading and the History of Race in the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011). ↵
- Mary Floyd-Wilson, English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003), 5. ↵
- Virginia Mason Vaughan, Performing Blackness on English Stages, 1500–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005). ↵
- Andrea Stevens, Inventions of the Skin (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013). ↵
- Ian Smith, “Othello’s Black Handkerchief.” Shakespeare Quarterly 64.1 (2013): 1–25. ↵
- Matthieu Chapman. Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other “Other” (New York: Routledge, 2016). ↵