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Antisemitism in the anonymous Renaissance dialogue Viaje de Turquía

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  • User Dr Şizen Yiacoup (University of Liverpool)
  • ClockTuesday 10 November 2020, 18:00-19:00
  • HouseOnline via zoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Stephen Wilford.

Despite being widely regarded by commentators as advocating cultural and religious diversity due to its ideological indebtedness to reformist and humanist thought and its largely flattering portrayal of Ottoman Constantinople, the anonymous Renaissance dialogue known as Viaje de Turquía is nevertheless reliant upon antisemitic stereotypes to facilitate the development of its plot and central characters. The analysis that forms the basis of this presentation addresses the conspicuous gap in our current understanding of this seminal example of Spanish Renaissance literature by scrutinising the crucial parallels it draws between two situations presented as broadly analogous: Christ’s persecution at the hands of the Pharisees and his subsequent crucifixion by the Roman imperial authorities, and the hero’s mistreatment by Sephardi physicians and the constant threat of execution held over him by the Ottomans. A fundamental aim of this study is therefore to challenge and ultimately alter scholarly perceptions of a text widely acclaimed for its espousal of Renaissance humanist ideals, and, by extension, to underscore the fact that those ideals were by no means unanimously concerned with achieving harmonious coexistence with the Other.

Dr Şizen Yiacoup lectures on Spanish cultural history at the University of Liverpool. Her teaching and research interests lie mainly in the ways in which the memory of conflict and cross-cultural exchange between Muslims, Christians and Jews is preserved in the literature of late medieval and early modern Spain. Her most recent research project explores the significance of antisemitism in the anonymous sixteenth-century dialogue known as Viaje de Turquía.

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This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society series.

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