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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

Tropic and Tropicality

Tropic and Tropicality

(p.197) 11 Tropic and Tropicality
Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire

Denis Cosgrove

University of Chicago Press

The chapters in this book variously parse the discursive usages of “tropicality” as the concept evolved during the period of most intense European penetration into the geographic spaces and human worlds that bestride the equator. The term “visions” implies and as various chapters here testify, that Europeans did not arrive in tropical latitudes free from presumptions or anticipations about these regions of the globe. The framework of “Voyages,” “Mappings,” and “Sites” suggests a complex interplay of representation and experience within which encounter with actual places and peoples was mediated through the long premodern history of “Western” ideas and images about how the world between Cancer and Capricorn might be. Negotiation of meanings has been continuous between tropical imaginings and the sensuous, embodied experiences and subsequent representations of visionaries and voyagers, merchants and missionaries, conquerors and colonists.

Keywords:   tropic, tropicality, equator, voyages, mappings, sites

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