Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

8/1/2007 - 8/31/2008

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

Preparing a Scholarly Annotated Translation of Miguel de Cervantes's plays, THE BAGNIOS OF ALGIERS and THE GREAT SULTANA

FAIN: RZ-50702-07

University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
Barbara Fuchs (Project Director: November 2006 to July 2009)

A translation and edition of two early seventeenth-century plays by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) addressing the interaction between Christian Spain and Islamic North Africa. (13 months)

We propose a translation of two plays by Miguel de Cervantes, _The Bagnios of Algiers_ and _The Great Sultana_, that reflect the intense imaginative engagement of early modern Spain with the Muslim worlds of the Mediterranean. First published in 1615 as part of Cervantes' collection _Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nuevos, nunca representados_ [Eight New Plays and Interludes, Never Performed], the plays are read frequently in Spanish, though not produced. With their depiction of captivities in North Africa and at the Ottoman court, these plays provide insights into how early modern Spain perceived the world of Islam, and also serve as a template for multiple works in various European traditions. Despite their considerable interest for comparative early modern studies, neither has ever been translated into English.

Associated Products

The Bagnios of Algiers and The Great Sultana: Two Plays of Captivity (Book)
Title: The Bagnios of Algiers and The Great Sultana: Two Plays of Captivity
Author: Miguel de Cervantes
Editor: Aaron Ilika
Editor: Barbara Fuchs
Abstract: Best known today as the author of Don Quixote—one of the most widely read novels in the Western tradition—Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) was a poet and a playwright as well. Shortly before his death he published a collection of his later plays before they were ever performed. With their depiction of captives in North Africa and at the Ottoman court, two of these, "The Bagnios of Algiers" and "The Great Sultana," draw heavily on Cervantes's own experiences as a captive, and echo important episodes in Don Quixote. They are set in a Mediterranean world where Spain and its Muslim neighbors clashed repeatedly while still remaining in close contact, with merchants, exiles, captives, soldiers, and renegades frequently crossing over between the two sides. The plays provide revealing insights into Spain's complex perception of the world of Mediterranean Islam. Despite their considerable literary and historical interest, these two plays have never before been translated into English. This edition presents them along with an introductory essay that places them in the context of Cervantes's drama, the early modern stage, and the political and cultural relations between Christianity and Islam in the early modern period.
Year: 2010
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat listing
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's listing
Publisher: U. of Pennsylvania Press
Type: Translation
Type: Scholarly Edition
ISBN: 9780812242096
Translator: Aaron Ilika
Translator: Barbara Fuchs