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Producing the Pacific

Maps and Narratives of Spanish Exploration (1567-1606)

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Mercedes Maroto Camino

Producing the Pacific offers the reader an interdisciplinary reading of the maps, narratives and rituals related to the three Spanish voyages to the South Pacific that took place between 1567 and 1606. These journeys were led by Álvaro de Mendaña, Pedro Fernández de Quirós and Isabel Barreto, the first woman ever to become admiral of and command a fleet.
Mercedes Maroto Camino presents a cultural analysis of these journeys and takes issue with some established notions about the value of the past and the way it is always rewritten from the perspective of the present. She highlights the social, political and cultural environment in which maps and narratives circulate, suggesting that their significance is always subject to negotiation and transformation. The tapestry created by the interpretation of maps, narratives and rituals affords a view not only of the minds of the first men and women who traversed the Pacific but also of how they saw the ocean, its islands and their peoples. Producing the Pacific should, therefore, be of relevance to those interested in history, voyages, colonialism, cartography, anthropology and cultural studies.
The study of these cultural products contributes to an interpretive history of colonialism at the same time that it challenges the beliefs and assumptions that underscore our understanding of that history.

National Stereotypes in Perspective

Americans in France, Frenchmen in America

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Edited by William L. Chew III

Since the late 18th century, when they first entered into an alliance during the American Revolution, the French and Americans have had a long and sometimes stormy relationship based on a complex mix of mutual admiration, cultural criticism, and sometimes downright disgust for the “other.” The relatively new interdisciplinary field of imagology, or image studies, allows us to place the dynamics of such a relationship into perspective by grounding its analysis firmly in the study of national stereotypes, in the process providing new insights into the mentality of the observer. For if anything, image studies demonstrate again and again that national character is not–as assumed uncritically for centuries–an innate essence of the “other”, but rather a self-serving functional construct of the observer.

1949/1989

Cultural Perspectives on Division and Unity in East and West

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Edited by Clare Flanagan and Stuart Taberner