Date of Award

Spring 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

English Literature

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Douglas Lanier


This dissertation contributes to the current critical discourse in Early Modern English Studies on the conceptions and literary representations of national and racial identity in 16th- and 17th-century England. Central to this discourse is an examination of how the English defined themselves in relation to those they deemed as "others": the foreign and marginalized members of society. My study is unique because I look at individual figures of "otherness"---the Irishman, the Turk, and the Jew---in light of their common characteristic: their shared significance as coded figures of Catholicism. Ultimately, my dissertation unifies disparate conversations about race, religion, and politics in Early Modern Studies. Central to this study is an examination of the work by major canonical writers: specifically Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare.