"The eleven essays brought together in this volume bring those neighboring realms into breath-taking focus by examining currents of cultural difference lapping onto the edges and sometimes percolating up into the middle of texts that ostensibly serve to delineate England as an always inevitable island unto itself...this collection will serve as an indispensable guide to future travelers in archipelago it so brilliantly reveals." - Journal of the Early Book Society
"This intriguing collection of essays sets out to trouble the myth of the English nation, calling into question the wholeness, autonomy, insularity, and inevitability of the political entity we now call the British Isles. Cohen s infinite realms project recasts the island (the symbol of totality and autonomy) as an archipelago (a symbol of fragmentation and interdependence) whose current political configuration can in no way simply be read back into the past. The essays, on texts both familiar and arcane, not only invite us to rethink the textual canons of Great Britain s four main ethnic groups, but more radically to interrogate the fictiveness of political identity itself. This is not just another collection touting cultural diversity among hypostasized identities; these essays invite us to reimagine political collectivities, rethinking the ways in which they encounter one another, clash, assimilate, and reform around new identities." - Laurie A. Finke, Kenyon College and co-author of King Arthur and the Myth of History
About the Author
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is Professor and Chair of English, George Washington University. He is the author of Hybridity, Identity and Monstrosity in Medieval Britain; Medieval Identity Machines; Of Giants; and the editor of The Postcolonial Middle Ages; Thinking the Limits of the Body; Becoming Male in the Middle Ages; and Monster Theory.