This book has taken a long time to finish. For patience and support I am grateful to all the contributors and everyone at Manchester University Press, especially Meredith Carroll. Peter Lake has been extraordinarily generous from the project’s inception. I will fondly remember a number of calls we had across different time zones. I hope to pay forward the generosity, the insights and the enthusiasm that I received from him.

Many of the chapters were first presented in a two-day conference, ‘Stereotyping in early modern British public spheres’, held at the Senate House, the University of London, on 16 and 17 June 2014. The idea was to present early modern papers and invite response from social psychologists and sociologists interested in stereotypes and public attitudes. I thank the wonderful psychologist, Vlad Glăveanu, for co-hosting it. For generous support for the conference, I would also like to thank the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the Society for Renaissance Studies (UK), the Department of History and the School of Arts and Humanities, King’s College London, and finally COST Action IS1205 (Social psychological dynamics of historical representations in the enlarged European Union). As I complete the editorial process, I have drawn on the funding I received as a University of Tokyo Excellent Young Researcher.

Peter Lake and I also organised a related conference at the Huntington Library, ‘Stereotypes and stereotyping in the early modern world’ (19–20 April 2019). I would have been far less alert to wider issues of race, gender and occupation were it not for the discussions we had at the beautiful grounds of the botanical gardens. I thank speakers there for feedback, and especially Steve Hindle for generous support throughout.

For discussions, advice, friendship and inspirations, I would like to thank Martin Bauer, Steve Hindle, Rob Iliffe, Ludmilla Jordanova, Sandra Jovchelovitch, Sakiko Kaiga, Mark Knights, Bridget Orr and Brodie Waddell. Tim Harris and Lisa Hellman offered constructive feedback when I faced difficulties. I thank Shifra Diamond and Hiroyuki Komatsu for editorial assistance, John Firth for copyediting and Hannah DeGroff for indexing.

As this volume evolved, the themes related to stereotyping have taken on additional urgency as we have witnessed the British exit from the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States and the rise of populist politics in countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, India and Japan. In editing the chapters for publication, I have tried to weave together early modern case studies in ways that enable us not only to make better sense of the period, but also to suggest that early modern experiences of stereotyping have surprising resonance in the twenty-first century. We can learn a great deal from the early modern past without being anachronistic.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr Yuko Nakamura. She has seen this volume coming to fruition, and our numerous conversations have prompted me to interrogate my own deeply held beliefs. Without her acuity, empathy and kindness, I would not have been able to realise how hard, and how rewarding, it is to confront and move beyond the stereotypes we hold about ourselves. For this and much more, I cannot thank her enough.

5th January 2022, Tokyo

Koji Yamamoto

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