By contrast, the foregrounding of "race" - in the complex, multiform and even contradictory senses of this term in the period between 1492 and 1800 - is central to the present interdisciplinary collection, one of the ways it focuses explicitly on such differences. For if "race," in any discussion, has to be placed within what in this sense are appropriately named "scare-quotes," as influential anthologies such as "Race," Writing and Difference (1985) and other recent work remind us,3 then this caution is even more critical in relation to the centuries and divergent cultures that are the principal (though not exclusive) focus of this book.