E. Natalie Rothman
Associate Professor of History
Phone: (416) 208-2922
Department of Historical and Cultural Studies
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, ON M1C 1A4
***ON LEAVE, January-March, 2013***
Photo: Ken Jones, University of Toronto Scarborough
E. Natalie Rothman is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, specializing in the history of the Mediterranean in the early modern period. Her book, Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul (Cornell University Press, 2011), explores how diplomatic interpreters, converts, and commercial brokers mediated and helped define political, linguistic, and religious boundaries between the Venetian and Ottoman empires in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The book recently won the 2012 Herbert Baxter Adams prize for best first book in European History and the Howard R. Marraro prize for best book in Italian history, both from the American Historical Association. In addition to numerous articles, Rothman continues to examine the history of cultural mediation, the genealogies of Orientalism, and the relationship between translation and empire in her current book project, The Dragoman Renaissance: Diplomatic Interpreters and the Making of the Levant. She regularly offers courses on the early modern Mediterranean and on the history of Venice and its empire, and advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars on the histories of translators and interpreters, converts and missionaries, and travellers and travel-writing. For a complete CV click here.
- Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011. For details click here.
- “Becoming Venetian: Conversion and Transformation in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean,” Mediterranean Historical Review 21, 1 (June 2006): 39-75. For a copy click here.
- “Between Venice and Istanbul: Trans-Imperial Subjects and Cultural Mediation in the Early Modern Mediterranean.” PhD dissertation, University of Michigan, 2006. For a copy click here.
- “Self-Fashioning in the Mediterranean Contact Zone: Giovanni Battista Salvago and his Africa overo Barbaria (1625),” in Renaissance Medievalisms, ed. Konrad Eisenbichler, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2009, pp. 123-143. For a copy click here.
- “Interpreting Dragomans: Boundaries and Crossings in the Early Modern Mediterranean.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 51, 4 (October 2009): 771-800. For a copy click here.
- “Genealogies of Mediation: 'Culture Broker' and Imperial Governmentality.” In Anthrohistory: Unsettling Knowledge, Questioning Discipline, eds. Edward Murphy, David W. Cohen and others. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010, pp. 67-79. For a copy click here.
- “Conversion and Convergence in the Venetian-Ottoman Borderlands.” Identity and Religion in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean, special issue of Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, ed. John J. Martin, 41, 3 (2011): 601-634. For a copy click here.
- “Narrating Conversion and Subjecthood in the Venetian-Ottoman Contact Zone.” In The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature, eds. Harald Hendrix, Todd Richardson and Lieke Stelling. Leiden: Brill, 2012, pp. 109-150. For details click here.
- “Afterword.” Things not easily believed: Introducing the Early Modern Relation, special issue of Renaissance and Reformation/ Renaissance et Réforme, eds. Thomas V. Cohen and Germaine Warkentin, 34, 1-2: 237-243. For a copy click here.
- “Contested Subjecthood: Runaway Slaves in Early Modern Venice.” (forthcoming in Quaderni Storici ) 139, 2 (2012): 425-442
- “Visualizing a Space of Encounter: Intimacy, Alterity, and Trans-Imperial Perspective in an Ottoman-Venetian Miniature Album.” In Other Places: Ottomans Traveling, Seeing, Writing, Drawing the World. Essays in Honor of Thomas D. Goodrich, Part II. Eds. Baki Tezcan and Gottfried Hagen. Special issue of Osmanlı Araştırmaları / Journal of Ottoman Studies 40 (2012): 39-80. For a copy click here.
Encounters: A Global History of Cultural Interactions, 500 BCE—1700 CE (F10). This first year course provides an introduction to global history from the Hellenic period to the eighteenth century. Through readings in primary and secondary sources on the theme of cultural encounters, it offers an overview of the major processes that have linked societies to each other and have shaped the world. For a syllabus click here.
The Early Modern Mediterranean, 1500-1800 (W07, W08, S08, W11). This second year course explores the interplay of culture, religion, politics and commerce in the Mediterranean region from 1500 to 1800. Through travel narratives, autobiographical texts, and visual materials the course traces how men and women on the Mediterranean’s European, Asian, and African shores experienced their changing world. For a syllabus click here.
Old Worlds? Strangers and Foreigners in the Mediterranean, 1200-1700 (F07). This third year course explores how medieval and early modern societies encountered foreigners and accounted for foreignness, as well as for religious, linguistic, and cultural difference more broadly. Topics include: monsters, relics, pilgrimage, the rise of the university, merchant companies, mercenaries, piracy, captivity and slavery, tourism, and the birth of resident embassies. For a syllabus click here.
Venice and its Empire, 800-1800 (F06, F07, F11, F12). This third year course explores the history of Venice and its empire in the Mediterranean from its humble beginnings as a fishermen’s colony in the ninth century CE to its occupation by Napoleon in 1797. The primary focus is Venice (including its colonies in northern Italy, the Adriatic, and the Aegean) and, to a lesser extent, its major political rival and economic ally, the Ottoman Empire. For a syllabus click here.
Missionaries and Converts in the Early Modern World (F06). This fourth year seminar explores how early modern people thought about and practiced community, belief, and ritual, and situates these thoughts and practices within the context of early imperialism and colonialism. The seminar looks at religious conversion in relation to other social processes, including empire-building, and examines whether the “globalization of Christianity” is a useful paradigm through which to understand the experiences of missionaries and converts in different parts of the world in the period 1500-1800. For a syllabus click here.
Between Two Worlds? Translators and Interpreters in History (W07, F12). This fourth year seminar explores the social history of translators, interpreters, and the texts they produce. Through several case studies from Ireland and Istanbul to Québec, Mexico City, and Goa, the course considers how translators shaped public understandings of "self" and "other," "civilization" and "barbarity" in the wake of European colonization. For a syllabus click here.
Travelling and Travel-Writing in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean (S08, F11). This fourth year seminar explores the development of travel and travel narratives before 1800, and their relationship to European trade and colonisation in the Mediterranean and beyond. Topics include: Prester John and the allure of the East, pilgrimage and crusading, the histories of geography, cartography, and ethnography. For a syllabus click here.
Graduate courses taught:
Histories in/of the Mediterranean: From Braudel to Post-Colonialism (W08). This graduate seminar addresses the emergence and recent transformation of the early modern Mediterranean as an historical object. It offers an overview of the historiography of the early modern Mediterranean from Braudel to his most recent critics, and situates this historiography within the broader field of contemporary scholarship and politics. In particular, the seminar explores the methodological and epistemological implications of post-colonial critiques of Orientalism and Occidentalism on the one hand, and of the ongoing conversations between historians and anthropologists of the Mediterranean on the other. For a syllabus click here.
Language, Power, and Translation in the Early Modern World (W11) (Co-taught with Paul Cohen). This graduate seminar introduces students to the emerging field of historical translation studies, and surveys the historiography on translators and interpreters as significant social actors in the formation of early modern and modern empires and states. Topics include medieval and early modern theories and practices of translation, language ideologies, the roles of interpreters in missionary and colonial contexts, and translation as a dimension of state-formation and imperial governance. Our sample of case studies will be broad, ranging from the French and Spanish Atlantic empires to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. For a syllabus click here.
I am the director of a digital humanities summer institute, Roots and Routes: Scholarly Networks and Knowledge Production in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean and in the Digital Age. For more details on this 3-year series of Connaught Summer Institutes at the University of Toronto, visit our homepage.
I was the co-organizer of a workshop on networks of interaction in the early modern Mediterranean, which met in Toronto on Oct. 12-13, 2007. Click here for the workshop homepage.
I was also the co-director of an international workshop on Language and Cultural Mediation in the Mediterranean, 1200-1800, part of the 10th session of the Mediterranean Research Meeting at the European University Institute, held in Montecatini Terme, Italy, in March 2009. Click here for more information and here for the workshop poster .