With Early Modern Culture, we have tried to create an on-line space for something like the active and on-going inquiry of a good seminar. Hence, what you will find at this site are four works-in-progress by major scholars in early modern studies, along with a set of responses from readers — some junior, some senior — working on similar topics. With this format, our desire is to open a conversation, and make explicit how much all our work depends upon such opportunities for careful reading, as well as critical (in the best sense of that word) exchange. We hope you will find all of this work fresh and stimulating; certainly, we ourselves are delighted with the labor and generosity of our contributors.

Given our mission, we have also left lots of "blank space" in the text for you to record your own responses and observations, just as you might if you were hearing the papers and responses "live." To post, send an e-mail to Will Stockton, and we will see to it that your comments make their way to the "electronic seminar" page. Queries, comments, bibliography suggestions — what you will — all are appropriate to this space.

If you would like to offer a work-in-progress to be included in an upcoming issue of the seminar, send a brief (no more than 250 words) abstract to the editor. We would also be delighted to have readers nominate themselves as respondants for future issues; if you would like to be considered as a respondant, please send us a vita and brief description of your current research interests.

Our hope is that a lively exchange on the topics under discussion ensues, and scholars working on similar topics--even if they are just starting out--manage to find each other here on these electronic pages.

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ISSN 1939-0246.