Forms of Association
Making Publics in Early Modern Europe
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Forms of Association grows out of the "Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association in Early Modern Europe" (MaPs) project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This scholarly initiative convened an interdisciplinary research team to consider how "publics"—new forms of association built on the shared interests of individuals—developed in Europe from 1500 to 1700. Drawing on a wide array of texts and histories, including the plays of Shakespeare, the legend of Robin Hood, paintings, and music as well as English gossip about France, the contributors develop a historical account of what publics were in early modern Europe. This collaborative study provides a dynamic way of understanding the political dimensions of artistic and intellectual works and opens the way toward a new history of early modernity.
Until his death in 2008, the great Renaissance scholar Richard Helgerson was a key participant in the MaPs project. The scholars featured in this volume originally met in Montreal to engage in a critical, commemorative conversation about Helgerson's work, the issues and questions coming out of the MaPs project, and how Helgerson's thinking advanced and could in turn be advanced by MaPs. This collection represents the fruits of that conversation.
"With the overall high quality of the essays, the significant voices that are addressing the issues, and the direction forward that it suggests for work in the early modern period, this is an excellent collection and a valuable publication for scholars."—Shannon Miller, San Jose State University
"Each of the fifteen essays has something interesting to say, and many are conceptually sophisticated, stimulating, and highly original."—Malcolm Smuts, University of Massachusetts Boston
"An extraordinary tribute to Richard Helgerson. . . . The volume has a wonderful coherence. . . . The book is valuable in two respects: for an exciting sense of what can be meant by and done with the notion of 'publics' and all that characterizes 'publics,' as well as for the specific and intriguing scholarly efforts of these individual scholars. who pursue a variety of directions, specialties, and methodologies."—Sixteenth Century Journal
"Most of the essays in Forms of Association are very good; some are excellent. . . . The richness of evidence and the local theorizing of its implications marshaled in this volume and others from the Making Publics project are more than welcome. They lay the groundwork for thinking about how interdisciplinarity and collaboration might aspire beyond parallel play and thematic connections to a wary reengagement with larger theoretical models."—Renaissance Quarterly