Susan Whitfield's book offers a history of cultural exchange in premodern Afro-Eurasia through ten key objects, beginning with earrings and ending with slaves. It is less a continuous narrative than a collection of cross-referenced essays on materials, technologies, styles, beliefs, and ideas that embody or concrete, in one way or another, pivotal moments of cultural encounter. Spanning East Asia to Western Europe over more than a millennium and engaging nine separate media with as many distinct contexts of use and patterns of circulation, this study vastly exceeds current disciplinary and field categories. Inevitably, it relies significantly on secondary studies in English and specialist interlocutors acknowledged by Whitfield throughout the text. The...

You do not currently have access to this content.