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Becoming Muslim in Imperial RussiaConversion, Apostasy, and Literacy$
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Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452314

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452314.001.0001

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Popular Knowledge of Islam on the Volga Frontier

Popular Knowledge of Islam on the Volga Frontier

(p.60) Chapter Two Popular Knowledge of Islam on the Volga Frontier
Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia

Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli

Cornell University Press

This chapter concentrates on several representative rural and isolated communities and their Shakespeare reading groups, exploring how reading Shakespeare played a key part in civic life and in the formation of American literary culture in locales not usually considered crucial to literary history. The story of Shakespeare in the frontier West has been well documented, particularly in terms of performance history and male readers. Yet a substantial population of women readers of Shakespeare in “outpost” areas made up a significant portion of Shakespeare's audience in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These American women readers of Shakespeare, who pursued an agenda of self-education and instruction, suggest the need for further inquiry into the variety of readers in geographically distant locales and their often overlooked influence on a broad understanding of American literary culture and civic life.

Keywords:   frontier West, American literary culture, rural communities, isolated communities, outpost areas, Shakespeare reading groups

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