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February 26, 2003
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v2.1 Reference

Making Contact

Maps, Identity, and Travel

When civilizations 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-Europe and Africa, the multiple ethnicities of greater Poland, Christians and Jews, Jesuits and Japanese, Elizabethans vs. aboriginals and vagrants, English and Algonquians, Pierre Radisson and the Iroquois, and the Spaniards in America.

About the Authors

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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Principal, UBC's Okanagan campus and past dean of arts. 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, co-author of A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility, and co-editor of Mathematical Practitioners and the Transformation of Natural Knowledge in Early Modern Europe.


"Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel offers the reader a[n] informed and erudite selection of multi-disciplinary essays about the repercussions of cultural interaction, ranging from the exploits of the Cabeza de Vaca, to the Jesuit Missionaries' influence upon European and Japanese ways of life. Highly recommended for personal and academic World History collections, Making Contact is a superbly presented scholarly study of extensive detail." Wisconsin Bookwatch, The Midwest Book Review

"The aim of this book is to present the reader with an overview of a number of instances when two cultures have come together, made contact and coexisted with each other...Another fascinating aspect of this book is that the writers always include passages on how both cultures viewed each other. This lets the reader see just how much the differences between two races, colours or even beliefs could be exaggerated and accentuated by both first-hand accounts and their subsequent retelling." M2 Best Books

"Cognitive and cultural maps shape all the texts here; even though many of the writers never travelled far, others who did activated their fears and desires. Identity is the book's true theme: when Europeans ecountered pople whom they considered utterly alien, both within and beyond the scraggy isthmus, they had to reflect on who they really were. ...this is an informative, entertaining, and provocative collection of articles, valuable for all historians interested in cross-cultural encounters in many times and places."Peter C. Perdue, The International History Review

"Through an imaginative reconsideration of the fundamentals of identity and otherness, the best pieces in the volume bring renewed creative energy to the study of medieval and early modern European identities. With its bold forays across disciplines and fields, Making Contact provides sufficient variety to hold the interest of a casual reader, while its freshness of interpretation will satisfy the specialist. Finally, it would be remiss not to observe the excellent graphic design of this book. ... Making Contact is a book that should make all invovled, scholars and pressmen alike, proud of their creation." Greg Bak, Histoire sociale / Social History

"[T]he volume is a valuable contribution to the study of identity and contact. There are some particularly strong papers in the collection..The essays of Making Contact will be useful to scholars investigating individual issues of European contact in the [medieval and early modern] period..In the end, Making Contact marks a valuable contribution to a vast field of study, especially on the strength of its better papers." University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1, Winter 2004/5

"Making Contact is derived from a highly successful conference of the same name at the University of Alberta in 1998. Indeed, if the papers in this collection are any indication, the conference was clearly an energizing one for both the presenters and the participants....The result is an engaging collection whose arguments and wider meaning are still being debated. In fact, the essay that was originally prepared for the introduction has been turned into an article and bookended with another new introduction. This kind of healthy tension, which is normally missing from published conference proceedings, only adds to the value of this work." William A. Waiser, Canadian Book Review Annual, 2004

9780888643773 : making-contact-burger-cormack-hart
Paperback / softback
264 Pages
$38.99 USD

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