From Malaysia to Massachusetts: Corporations and the Globalization ofEarly American Cultural History

Hyde Translation Title Page
04 Sep 2020 10.00 AM - 11.30 AM Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Christopher Trigg

How can we tell a global story of early America that includes puritanism without centering it? In this talk, I sketch out some textual, commercial, and political ties that connect early modern Syria, Indonesia, India, Denmark, England, and North America through colonial joint-stock corporations. These networks reveal relationships – between translation and conversion, commerce and religion, and English and Native peoples – that span from Malaysia to Massachusetts. By recovering a literary and cultural history of translation that operates in tandem with global joint-stock companies and with war capitalism’s history of global violence – scholars and students might fashion new narratives about North America’s colonial origins, its puritan and other writers and settlers, and their relationship to the rest of the world.


Michelle Burnham is Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Arts & Humanities at Santa Clara University. She is the author of three books on early American literature, including, most recently, Transoceanic America: Risk, Writing, and Revolution in the Global Pacific (Oxford Univ. Press, 2019). She has also edited a collection of writing by Helen Hunt Jackson and an edition of the 1767 novel, The Female American. She is the editor of the Re-Editions series at Lever Press, which is devoted to publishing open access digital editions of recovered texts and writers from literary and cultural history.