The expansion of recent scholarly interest in the Mediterranean has come through the dedication and curiosity of many, in particular the group of scholars who founded the Mediterranean Seminar. I would like to express gratitude to Sharon Kinoshita and Brian Catlos, its founders, whose time and dedication in gathering together scholars from near and far to discuss the Mediterranean has formed a vibrant critical community in which ideas such as those expressed in this volume can thrive and even be interrogated. The Seminar has been a welcoming and stimulating experience for many of us and has not only helped to sharpen the critical tools with which we approach premodern Mediterranean studies but also permitted participants to forge new relationships and exchange work.
In addition, forums and panels organized at meetings of the Renaissance Society of America, the Modern Language Association, the International Medieval Congress, the New Chaucer Society, the Medieval Academy, and the Shakespeare Association of America, among others, have provided many of us with important critical discussion of our work among others interested in gender studies and in Mediterranean studies. I am, as always, grateful for the support of the University of Missouri and its Department of Romance Languages in preparing this volume.