Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel


284 pages
Contains Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-88864-377-2
DDC 303.48'2'09




Edited by Glenn Burger et al
Reviewed by William A. Waiser

William A. Waiser is a professor of history at the University of
Saskatchewan. He is the author of Saskatchewan’s Playground: A History
of Prince Albert National Park and Park Prisoners: The Untold Story of
Western Canada’s National Parks, 1915–1946


Making Contact is derived from a highly successful conference of the
same name at the University of Alberta in 1998. Indeed, if the papers in
this collection are any indication, the conference was clearly an
energizing one for both the presenters and the participants.

At first glance, the papers in Making Contact appear to be an eclectic
mix—from Africa and Japan to Poland–Lithuania and the New World.
They also involve several disciplines and several time periods. But that
was precisely the purpose behind the conference. And that same purpose
now shapes and informs this book—namely, to find linkages between the
medieval and early modern worlds and to blur the boundaries between
disciplines. In other words, the presenters were concerned not only with
identifying commonalities in their work, but also with forging
relationships (or “making contact”) with one another.

The result is an engaging collection whose arguments and wider meaning
are still being debated. In fact, the essay that was originally prepared
for the introduction has been turned into an article and bookended with
another new introduction. This kind of healthy tension, which is
normally missing from published conference proceedings, only adds to the
value of this work.


“Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 25, 2024,