This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book addresses the self-fashioning of university scholars in detail; a topic which sheds considerable light on the social and cultural history of the early modern university. It explores the character and purpose of scholarly self-fashioning from a wide variety of perspectives and in numerous contexts and in doing so aims to illuminate general trends, patterns and discontinuities across Europe over time. With the rise of the territorial university, the professoriate became more settled and coherent as a social group. This is evidenced in an increased self-consciousness and pride expressed in professorial self-fashioning. The book explains the relationship between the fashioning of the scholarly individual and the group. It endeavours to uncover in particular the role of self-fashioning in the forging of academic communities whether at the local level of the college or university or more generally as a social category.