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  • Introduction
  • Daniel Vitkus

This issue of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies is an unusual and exciting one in that it offers more than our usual variety of scholarship. This issue’s diversity reflects the openness of this journal to various modes of intellectual work, discussion, and exchange. We continue to publish primary texts and a wide range of interdisciplinary work on various language fields, historical periods, and genres. We welcome future proposals for hybridized forms of knowledge production in the cultural studies vein, including interviews, translations, forums, and review essays. At the same time, we will continue to publish innovative work in the form of articles, as long as those articles contribute to the intellectual mission of this journal and to early modern cultural studies.

In this issue, we are delighted to offer to our readers the original- spelling text of a fascinating poem that has never before been edited or made available in print or online. It is a poem by the pirate Sir Frances Verney that was presented in manuscript to Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to James I, in 1606. Matteo Pangallo has painstakingly prepared this fascinating piece of verse with illuminating glosses and helpful notes. We then have a group of four articles that look at various aspects of seventeenth-century culture in Europe and beyond, from Belgium to Barbados. Collectively, these articles exhibit the interdisciplinarity of this journal, from art history in Frank Palmeri’s “A Profusion of Dead Animals: Autocritique in Seventeenth- Century Flemish Gamepieces”; to the cultural and psychological impact of war in Erin Peters’s “Trauma Narratives of the English Civil War”; to colonialism in Rebekah Mitsein’s “Humanism and the Ingenious Machine: Richard Ligon’s True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados”; and a carefully theorized and historicized look at a literary text in Tessie Prakas’s “‘A World of her own Invention’: The Realm of Fancy in Margaret Cavendish’s The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World.” These are followed by Holly Crocker’s contribution [End Page 1] position paper on “The Problem of the Premodern,” which will be the final word entry (at least in JEMCS) to our forum discussion on the question of the “early modern.” Finally, this issue concludes with two incisive book reviews.

We are also very excited about the next two issues of JEMCS, both centered on special themes. The first will be on “Desiring History, Historicizing Desire” (edited by Ari Friedlander, Melissa Sanchez, and Will Stockton), and the second will be an issue on “Cute Shakespeare” (edited by Tommy Anderson and Julia Reinhard Lupton). [End Page 2]



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