Contemporary criticism focuses on contested issues at the borders and in the interstices of cultures. Medieval and Early Modern European culture, previously conceived as monolithic, is now being reconceived as heterogeneous, a site of tensions, contest, accommodation, and subversion. The essays in this volume describe a Europe that is multicultural in fact, and trace the exchanges between cultural groups, subcultures and dominant cultures, and between individuals and the cultures that they inhabit.
The critical works in this volume are drawn from a variety of disciplines: art history, literary studies, history and historiography, and cultural studies. A number are interdisciplinary, examining topics of cultural studies as diverse as fashion, rhetorical self-fashioning, and the history of architecture, all in the context of their surrounding contexts. A special strength of this volume is the visual impact of its three illustrated monographs.These essays will appeal to all who see the importance of reconceiving European history in terms of contemporary multicultural perspectives, as well as to those who are specially interested in medieval architecture, the history of fashion, French and English Renaissance literature, Hebraic studies, and medieval and Renaissance Mediterranean history.