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Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity

Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity DOI 10.1215/00104124-3327572 Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity. By Carmen Nocentelli. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. 262 p. For early modern Europeans Asia signified romance, and their discourses of Asia had a strong undercurrent of eros. A welcome addition to both race and sexuality studies in the early modern period, Carmen Nocentelli's Empires of Love focuses on the erotics of Europe's encounter with Asia, arguing that race and sexuality were mutually constitutive as the European notions of marriage and sexual relations were transformed by their overseas BOOK REVIEWS / 447 experiences. Using Valerie Traub's work on the rise of "domestic heterosexuality," which marks the shift from marriage for procreation to marital sex as an expression of affection, Nocentelli argues that the eroticization of spousal relations not only paralleled the rise of ethnography in the European expansion overseas, but was also linked to it. Travel in Asia profoundly shaped the understanding of European sexuality and racial identity as European ethnography turned Asian sexual and cultural practices into markers of racial difference. In six deftly written chapters, Nocentelli analyzes a variety of genres--from ethnography and travel accounts to epic poems and drama--and ranges http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity

Comparative Literature , Volume 67 (4) – Dec 1, 2015

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/00104124-3327612
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Abstract

DOI 10.1215/00104124-3327572 Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity. By Carmen Nocentelli. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. 262 p. For early modern Europeans Asia signified romance, and their discourses of Asia had a strong undercurrent of eros. A welcome addition to both race and sexuality studies in the early modern period, Carmen Nocentelli's Empires of Love focuses on the erotics of Europe's encounter with Asia, arguing that race and sexuality were mutually constitutive as the European notions of marriage and sexual relations were transformed by their overseas BOOK REVIEWS / 447 experiences. Using Valerie Traub's work on the rise of "domestic heterosexuality," which marks the shift from marriage for procreation to marital sex as an expression of affection, Nocentelli argues that the eroticization of spousal relations not only paralleled the rise of ethnography in the European expansion overseas, but was also linked to it. Travel in Asia profoundly shaped the understanding of European sexuality and racial identity as European ethnography turned Asian sexual and cultural practices into markers of racial difference. In six deftly written chapters, Nocentelli analyzes a variety of genres--from ethnography and travel accounts to epic poems and drama--and ranges

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2015

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