Signs of Race : Volume 1

Signs of Race : Volume 1

Writing Race across the Atlantic World : Medieval to Modern

Edited by Philip Beidler and Gary Taylor

This collection of original essays explores the origins of contemporary notions of race in the oceanic interculture of the Atlantic world in the early modern period. In doing so, it breaks down institutional boundaries between "American" and "British" literature in this early period, as well as between "history" and "literature." Individual essays address the ways in which categories of "race"—black, brown, red, and white, African American and Afro Caribbean, Spanish and Jewish, English and Celtic, native American and northern European, Creole and mestizo—were constructed or adapted by early modern writers. While not denying the importance of the forced migration of African people to the New World, it demonstrates that the early modern Atlantic world was not simply a "black Atlantic," but a multiracial and multiethnic interculture of great complexity.