Our graduate program has a particular strength in Global & Comparative Studies. From the beginnings of societies to the Medieval period and on through to today’s world, no communities, cultures, or languages exist in vacuums; they develop, grow, and change in relation to their surroundings. Friction, cooperation, exchange, and borderlines characterize the relationships; cultural, commercial, linguistic, esthetic, and political influences from outside have played vital roles in the shaping of discrete communities identifiable as cultures. Cross-cultural contact has been a key mover in the shaping of nationalism, colonialism, empire and its post-forms inherited, and in some instances anticipated, from earliest times. Many members of our faculty participate in a shared interest in the contact events, cross-cultural influences, communication modes, and discrete narratives that tell and account for the shape of the world we have inherited.