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Global expansion/colonialism

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO A SCHEDULING CONFLICT THIS SESSION WILL TAKE PLACE ON WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER (WEEK 7) FROM 9.00-11.00 IN H327. MANY APOLOGIES FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

Overview

The purpose of this session is to explore the ways in which changing historiographic approaches are reflected in our understanding of early modern colonialism, using a foundational primary source (Columbus's journal of his first voyage), and canonical postmodernist text (Greenblatt's Marvelous Possessions) and a recent article (Carayon) reflecting the 'corporeal turn'.

Questions

What are the central ideas and arguments in the readings by Greenblatt and Carayon?

‘We can be certain only that European representations of the New World tell us something about the European practice of representation.’ (Greenblatt) Do you agree?

Describe and account for the differences between Greenblatt's and Carayon's interpretations of the encounters between Columbus and Caribbean islanders.

Readings

Carayon, Céline, 'The Gesture Speech of Mankind': Old and New World Entanglements in the Histories of American Indian and European Sign Languages', American Historical Review, vol. 121:2 (2016).
Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage, 1492-3***

Greenblatt, Stephen, Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World, Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1991), Chapter 2.

***Columbus's Journal is available in many different formats. See for example:


Christopher Columbus and the Enterprise of the Indies: A Brief History with Documents, ed. Geoffrey Symcox and Blair Sullivan, Palgrave (2005).
Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage, 1492-3, American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement, http://www.americanjourneys.org/aj-062/index.asp.
‘Medieval Sourcebook: Christopher Columbus, Extracts from Journal’, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columbus1.html (extracts)
The Log of Christopher Columbus’, http://www.columbusnavigation.com/diario.shtml
Also see very full discussion of the 1494 Columbus letter at http://www.usm.maine.edu/%7Emaps/columbus/toc.html.