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Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire$
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Felix Driver and Luciana Martins

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226164717

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226164700.001.0001

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Views and Visions of the Tropical World

Views and Visions of the Tropical World

(p.3) 1 Views and Visions of the Tropical World
Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire
Felix Driver, Luciana Martins
University of Chicago Press

This book brings together contributors from various disciplinary backgrounds—principally, art history, cultural geography, literature, imperial history, and the history of science—to consider the visualization of the tropical world. This book is especially concerned with the ways in which “the tropics” have been represented as something to be seen—a view to be had or a vision to be experienced. In the book, spaces of the tropics have been imagined in a wide variety of ways, within diverse forms of writing, sketching, mapping, charting, panoramas, painting, and photography. In very general terms, the words “view” and “vision” are used here to capture two contrasting modalities through which the tropics have been pictured. The view emerged in the context of a topographical aesthetic in which landscapes are depicted at a distance, their surface features translated into a recognizable visual code. In this very general sense, the term belongs equally to landscape sketching, coastal survey, and terrestrial mapping; it is part of a topographic culture in which the world is apprehended from afar.

Keywords:   tropics, empire, sketch, maps, painting, photography, topographic

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