Nationality has been determined by complex combinations of birthplace, language, residence, citizenship, sex, ethnic identity, racial classification and allegiance. But human lives continually elude official classifications. The transnationalism of ordinary lives threatens the stability of national identity and unsettles the framework of national histories and biography. Transnational Lives takes mobility, not nation, as its frame, and captures a rich array of lives, from the elite to the subaltern, that have crossed national, racial and cartographic boundaries. Spanning lived experience form the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries, the collection reminds us that mobility has been crucial to a modernizing world. The structures of colonialism, slavery and racism, globalizing economies, higher education, professional training, political upheaval, mixed marriages, and cultural industries including film and theatre have all contributed or lives that transcend or subvert the national.