Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael McCanles

Second Advisor

Carolyn Asp

Third Advisor

James Stephenson

Fourth Advisor

Edward Duffey


The dissertation attempts to analyze the ways in which the Other is represented in Renaissance travel literature, Spenser's Faerie Queene, Milton's Paradise Lost, and several plays of Shakespeare. Employing some conceptual tools of post-structuralism such as Jacques Derrida's deconstruction and Michel Foucault's archaeology of knowledge, the analysis is concerned to produce a "resistant reading" of some typical Renaissance texts from a "third-world" perspective. The focus is on how the textual representation of the Other contributes to history, more particularly, to the making of the "modern world-system" in which the third-world reader is forced to participate. The dissertation identifies four major textual strategies the Renaissance texts adopts in representing the Other: appropriation, allegorization, mimesis, and figuration. It consists of five chapters, and each chapter, except for Introduction that examines the possibility of "resistant reading" with regard to Renaissance literature, is dedicated to studying each textual strategy. The chapter on appropriation deals with the image of the American native as it appears in Renaissance travel narratives, arguing that the native Other is portrayed according to the European traveler's desire to conquer and dispossess the latter. The chapter also considers the possibility of applying a narrative theory, based on the concept of native hospitality, to travel literature. The chapter on allegorization is concerned with the representation of the Islamic Orient in Spenser's Faerie Queene. It argues that Spenser portrays the Oriental Other according to the pre-given meaning of the latter. THe Islamic Orient is seen as a "monster," which should be defeated in order that the Christian Occident can establish "civilization" in the world. The chapter on mimesis considers how the Shakespearean Fool conducts representation in his mimicking of his master. The Fool as Other provides a rare opportunity for one to see that representation is an historical activity, involved in maintaining certain social formations. The chapter on figuration concerns the representation of the divine in Milton's Paradise Lost. It examines how the divine Other is accomodated in the historical form of representation and made to function as a concept which can exert influence on historical reality.



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