Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire

Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire

by Felix Driver
     
 

The contrast between the temperate and the tropical is one of the most enduring themes in the history of the Western geographical imagination. Caught between the demands of experience and representation, documentation and fantasy, travelers in the tropics have often treated tropical nature as a foil to the temperate, to all that is civilized, modest, and

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Overview

The contrast between the temperate and the tropical is one of the most enduring themes in the history of the Western geographical imagination. Caught between the demands of experience and representation, documentation and fantasy, travelers in the tropics have often treated tropical nature as a foil to the temperate, to all that is civilized, modest, and enlightened. Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire explores images of the tropical world—maps, paintings, botanical drawings, photographs, diagrams, and texts—produced by European and American travelers over the past three centuries.

Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors from disciplines across the arts and humanities, this volume contains eleven beautifully illustrated essays—arranged in three sections devoted to voyages, mappings, and sites—that consider the ways that tropical places were encountered, experienced, and represented in visual form. Covering a wide range of tropical sites in the Pacific, South Asia, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, the book will appeal to a broad readership: scholars of postcolonial studies, art history, literature, imperial history, history of science, geography, and anthropology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226164724
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/15/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
1,004,910
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Contents List of Illustrations....................vii
Acknowledgments....................xi
INTRODUCTION 1. Views and Visions of the Tropical World Felix Driver and Luciana Martins....................3
VOYAGES 2. "On the Spot": Traveling Artists and the Iconographic Inventory of the World, 1769-1859 Claudio Greppi....................23
3. The Stimulations of Travel: Humboldt's Physiological Construction of the Tropics Michael Dettelbach....................43
4. "The Struggle for Luxuriance": William Burchell Collects Tropical Nature Luciana Martins and Felix Driver....................59
MAPPINGS 5. Dominica and Tahiti: Tropical Islands Compared Peter Hulme....................77
6. Imagining the Tropical Colony: Henry Smeathman and the Termites of Sierra Leone Starr Douglas and Felix Driver....................91
7. Matthew Fontaine Maury's "Sea of Fire": Hydrography, Biogeography, and Providence in the Tropics D. Graham Burnett....................113
SITES 8. Envisioning the Tropics: Joseph Hooker in India and the Himalayas, 1848 -1850 David Arnold....................137
9. Eyeing Samoa: People, Places, and Spaces in Photographs of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries Leonard Bell....................156
10. Returning Fears: Tropical Disease and the Metropolis Rod Edmond....................175
AFTERWORD 11. Tropic and Tropicality Denis Cosgrove....................197
Notes....................217
Select Bibliography....................257
Notes on Contributors....................269
Index....................271

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