This concentration investigates the cultural production of the late medieval and early modern periods. While each faculty member has specific projects and interests, it may be said that the group as a whole employs what has come to be called a cultural studies approach to literature. Relevant aspects of contemporary theories of literature, history, and culture are brought together in order to study societies of the past, an approach that also allows consideration of these paradigms within a range of different historical frameworks. Such an approach acknowledges both the continuity and the alterity of cultural formations of gender, sexuality, race, and class, thus challenging the limits of traditional periodization schemes. An emphasis is placed upon the historical conditions of possibility of texts and upon writing and performance as material practices, as well as upon the relationship between writing and other forms of symbolic production and exchange. We are concerned to historicize the present as well as the past, to explore the reciprocal pressures by which the past shapes the present and the present reshapes the past.