When civilisations first encounter each other a cascade of change is triggered that both challenges and reinforces the identities of all parties. 'Making Contact' revisits key encounters between cultures in the medieval and early modern world. This rich interdisciplinary collaboration contributes to the debate on boundaries between disciplines, as well as boundaries between the Middle Ages and the early modern period, and also between historical and theoretical perspectives. The book draws our attention to the important ways in which historic encounters with contrasting 'others' have shaped the identities of both individual and corporate 'selves' over a span of five centuries.
Glenn Burger, Lesley Cormack, Jonathan Hart, and Natalia Pylypiuk teach at universities across North America and are all members of the Medieval and Early Modern Institute. Glenn Burger teaches in the Departments of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. His research interests include issues of sex, gendre and sexuality in medieval literature, especially Chaucer, as well as East/West relations. He is the editor of Hetoum's A Lytell Cronycle (Toronto, 1988), co-editor with Steve F. Kruger of Queering in the Middle Ages (Minnesota, 2001), and author of Chaucer's Queer Nation (Minnesota, 2002). Lesley B. Cormack is the chair of the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include history of geography in early modern England, images of empire, and the social context of the scientific revolution. She is the author of Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities, 1580-1620 (Chicago, 1997).