Whether considered a sublime landscape, malignant wilderness, or the endangered site of environmental conflicts, the tropics are, Picturing Tropical Nature argues, largely a construct of American and European imaginations. Nancy Leys Stephan asserts that images of the tropics conveyed through drawings, paintings, photographs, literature, and travel writings are central to what Stepan calls the “tropicalization of nature,” or the often harmful misrepresentation of the tropics and its peoples. She here examines several aspects of such tropicalization as they emerge through the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientists and artists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Alfred Russel Wallace, Louis Agassiz, Sir Patrick Manson, and Margaret Mee. From the earliest photographic attempts to represent tropical hybrid races to depictions of disease in new tropical medicines, Picturing Tropical Nature offers new insight into the convergence of the tropics with European and American science and art. “A brilliant and provocative book . . . the kind of book that carries forward a field in a single stride . . . undoubtedly the finest account of ‘tropicality’ we have.”—Social History of Medicine
"Picturing Tropical Nature reflects on the work of several nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientists and artists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Alfred Russel Wallace, Louis Agassiz, Sir Patrick Manson, and Margaret Mee. Their careers illuminate several aspects of tropicalization: science and art in the making of tropical pictures; the commercial and cultural boom in things tropical in the modern period; photographic attempts to represent tropical hybrid races; antitropicalism and its role in an emerging environmentalist sensibility; and visual depictions of disease in the new tropical medicine."--Jacket.
The Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Conservation and Development
Author: Darrell A. Posey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
From the pre-Columbian era to the present, native Amazonians have shaped the land around them, emphasizing utilization, conservation, and sustainability. These priorities stand in stark contrast to colonial and contemporary exploitation of Amazonia by outside interests. With essays from environmental scientists, botanists, and anthropologists, this volume explores the various effects of human development on Amazonia. The contributors argue that by protecting and drawing on local knowledge and values, further environmental ruin can be avoided.
The field of environmental history emerged just decades ago but has established itself as one of the most innovative and important new approaches to history, one that bridges the human and natural world, the humanities and the sciences. With the current trend towards internationalizing history, environmental history is perhaps the quintessential approach to studying subjects outside the nation-state model, with pollution, global warming, and other issues affecting the earth not stopping at national borders. With 25 essays, this Handbook is global in scope and innovative in organization, looking at the field thematically through such categories as climate, disease, oceans, the body, energy, consumerism, and international relations.
Eyewitnessing evaluates the place of images among other kinds of historical evidence. By reviewing the many varieties of images by region, period and medium, and looking at the pragmatic uses of images (e.g. the Bayeux Tapestry, an engraving of a printing press, a reconstruction of a building), Peter Burke sheds light on our assumption that these practical uses are 'reflections' of specific historical meanings and influences. He also shows how this assumption can be problematic. Traditional art historians have depended on two types of analysis when dealing with visual imagery: iconography and iconology. Burke describes and evaluates these approaches, concluding that they are insufficient. Focusing instead on the medium as message and on the social contexts and uses of images, he discusses both religious images and political ones, also looking at images in advertising and as commodities. Ultimately, Burke's purpose is to show how iconographic and post-iconographic methods – psychoanalysis, semiotics, viewer response, deconstruction – are both useful and problematic to contemporary historians.
Representing the Republic provides an intriguing account of the mapping of America from its colonial origins to 1900. The most significant maps and mapmakers are discussed in a survey that begins with the first European mappings of New Netherlands in the early seventeenth century and concludes with the Rand McNally atlases of the 1890s. Maps tell us a great deal about the transformation of America's national identity. Having undertaken extensive research in map collections, including work with rare archival materials, prominent geographer John Rennie Short provides an account of how maps have both embodied and reflected power, conflict and territorial expansion over time, opening a new perspective on North American history and geography.
Textualities, Intellectual Disputes, Intercultural Transfer
Author: Marc André Bernier
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
In recent years scholars have turned their attention to the rich experience of the Jesuits in France and Spain’s American colonies. That attention has brought a flow of new editions and translations of Jesuit accounts of the Americas; it is now time for a study that examines the full range of that work in a comparative perspective. Jesuit Accounts of the Colonial Americas offers the first comprehensive examination of such writings and the role they played in solidifying images of the Americas. The collection also provides a much-needed re-examination of the work of the Jesuits in relation to Enlightenment ideals and the modern social sciences and humanities – two systems of thought that have in the past appeared radically opposed, but which are brought together here under the rubric of modern ethnographic knowledge. Linking Jesuit texts, the rhetorical tradition, and the newly emerging anthropology of the Enlightenment, this collection traverses the vast expanses of Old and New World France and Spain in fascinating new ways.
How do the lives of indigenous peoples relate to the romanticized role of "Indians" in Brazilian history, politics, and cultural production? Native and National in Brazil charts this enigmatic relationship from the sixteenth century to the present, focusing on the consolidation of the dominant national imaginary in the postindependence period and highlighting Native peoples' ongoing work to decolonize it. Engaging issues ranging from sovereignty, citizenship, and national security to the revolutionary potential of art, sustainable development, and the gendering of ethnic differences, Tracy Devine Guzman argues that the tensions between popular renderings of "Indianness" and lived indigenous experience are critical to the unfolding of Brazilian nationalism, on the one hand, and the growth of the Brazilian indigenous movement, on the other. Devine Guzman suggests that the "indigenous question" now posed by Brazilian indigenous peoples themselves--how to be Native and national at the same time--can help us to rethink national belonging in accordance with the protection of human rights, the promotion of social justice, and the consolidation of democratic governance for indigenous and nonindigenous citizens alike.