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  • The Irishmen, the Muscovites, and the Indians of Virginia in the Perception of the Englishmen and the Self-Perception of the Travelogue`s Authors Through the Prism of the Glance of the Other in the 16th-17th centuries

Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Yaroslav Kuznetsov
The Irishmen, the Muscovites, and the Indians of Virginia in the Perception of the Englishmen and the Self-Perception of the Travelogue`s Authors Through the Prism of the Glance of the Other in the 16th-17th centuries
(Bachelor’s programme)
In this study, several questions are posed to ego documents and travelogues of the late 16th — early 17th centuries of English and French origin. These documents deal with the projects of the colonization of Ireland, North America and Muscovy. This work focuses on the language of self-description and self-representation of authors and their way of constructing the Otherness; a comparative study of some of the colonial projects of the Early Modern Age is also being conducted in order to establish the presence or absence of continuity between them, as well as to identify the factors that influenced the socio-political discourse of colonization.

The source base of this work consists of documents relating to the three regions mentioned. Regarding Ireland, the main source is Thomas Smith, America - Thomas Herriot, and Muscovy - Thomas Smith, Thomas Chamberlain and Jacques Margeret. This is due to the fact that there is practically no ego-document about Muscovy that would equally demonstrate the language of the author’s self-description and self-representation while expressing his colonial ideas.

The theoretical and methodological models of my work are set by the following works. I use the books of Edward Wadi Said, Larry Wolff and Shirin Khanmokhammadi. The concept of “vectors of civilization” outlined in the book of Larry Wolff allows us to reconsider the attitude of the British to the Irish and Muscovites. The concept of Orientalism by Said makes it possible to understand how in England XVI - XVII centuries the image of the Other was constructed. In the book of Shirin Khanmokhammadi, binary oppositions “I / They”, “Myself / Others”, “Identity and Otherness”, along with the concept of the author’s vision “In Light of Another's Word”, are presented through the view of the Other.

The conclusions of my work are as follows: there was an evolution of the language of self-description and self-representation among the authors of travelogues, ego-documents and colonial projects, fromthe desire to teach and educate the barbarians to the desire to find ways of coexistence together. The perception of “barbarism” is also changing - with Smith, the early modern image of the “noble savage” begins to emerge, which Thomas Herriot developed in his work. Both authors pursued propaganda goals in forming this image, keeping silent about the multitude of factors that could frighten off possible immigrants. The idiosyncrasy of Harriot's work was manifested in the fact that the Algonquins were the objects of study of his “proto-anthropological” approach. The case of Muscovy is different - the book by Jacques Margeret has revolutionized the perception of Russians in Europe. For example, the self-description and self-presentation language of Ambassador Smith, whose book was published shortly before Margaret, illustrates the bias in perception: his demonizing description of peasants’ actions is a vivid example.

Colonial projects have also evolved - from the desire of violent transmission of English culture, laws and lifestyle to the Irish to the attempts of presenting the possibility of gradual assimilation of the Algonquins, integrating them into English society through trade and communication. Similar ideas can be found in the project of Jacques Margeret, who proposed to James I, after the establishment of a protectorate over the Arkhangelsk region, to gradually convert the Muscovites into a "true" religion. Nonetheless, the king became interested in the ideas of Chamberlain, who convinced him of the profitability of this enterprise from an economic point of view - the protection of trade routes to the East through Muscovy.

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