DFG Research Training Group Globalization and Literature. Representations, Transformations,  Interventions

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Mateusz Orszulak

Mateusz Orszulak, M.A.

Representations of the Ottoman Turks - the Question of Cultural Identity in Travel Accounts of the Sixteenth Century. Italy and the Habsburg Empire in the Context of Early Modern Globalization

Dissertation Abstract

The aim of this doctoral project is to examine the representations of the Ottoman Empire in travel accounts or similar works written by travelers from Italy and Habsburg lands in Czech, German and Italian languages during the sixteenth century. Such sources often give a subjective depiction of reality, which can be an advantage if one analyzes the mentalities and common beliefs typical of the historical period. I would like to pay close attention to cultural stereotypes and the perception of European identity reflected in the travel texts written in a period of widespread anti-Turkish propaganda and radical social changes. I will also analyze the main features of sixteenth-century travel discourse from the perspective of its presentation of encounters between different cultures.
I will address questions such as: Why did this literature become more common in the sixteenth century? In what ways are the pre-globalization processes modeled by these works and how did they influence the perception of European identity? How did the travel accounts represent "the Turk," and what shaped these representations? How did the travel accounts reflect their authors’ cultural identities?

Short CV

Since 2013 PhD Candidate at the Research Training Group

2010: M.A. French Literature, Lodz University


"Revenge as a Means to Preserve Individual Sovereignty: Monstrous Women in French Literature". In: Petra Rehling, Elsa Bouet (eds.): Monstrous Reflections, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2014, S. 173-182.

"Criticism of the Baroque and its Ideological Basis". In: Bogusław Skowronek, Elżbieta Rudnicka-Fira (eds.): Gorszenie w literaturze, języku, mediach i edukacji, Cracow: Pedagogical University of Cracow Press, 2013, S. 94-104.