The Tide Project

TIDE is a 5-year European Research Council funded project (2016-2021) that aims to investigate how mobility in the great age of travel and discovery shaped English perceptions of human identity based on cultural identification and difference. The role of those marked by transcultural mobility was central to this period. Trade, diplomacy and politics, religious schisms, shifts in legal systems, all attempted to control and formalise the identity of such figures. Our current world is all too familiar with the concepts that surfaced or evolved as a result: foreigners, strangers, aliens, converts, exiles, or even translators, ambassadors and go-betweens. By examining how different discourses tackled the fraught question of human identity in this era, TIDE will open a new perspective on cross-cultural encounters. It will put pressure on our understanding of cultural difference, transculturality and identity, and generate a new understanding of key terms, concepts, and debates. It will produce new knowledge about the unique role played by literature, and even as the project illuminates how some of our key concepts of cultural difference and identity took shape, that research will be used by writers to generate new literature about our encounters with those same issues today. This project will consolidate our fragmented understanding of transculturality and the idea of ‘betweenness’ in the early modern period, which continues to have a significant impact on the contemporary world.

Download the TIDE Brochure