11 Dec 2023

Forum eikones, Rheinsprung 11, 4051 Basel

eikones - Zentrum für die Theorie und Geschichte des Bildes, Universität Basel, Adrian Anagnost

Public event, Lecture series

NOMIS Lecture by Adrian Anagnost

Lecture by NOMIS Fellow Adrian Anagnost


NOMIS Lecture by Adrian Anagnost, followed by apéro.

Mapping Race and Ecology at the Gulf of Mexico
At the nexus of marshland and sea, the Mississippi River Delta is a challenging landscape for both inhabitants and image makers. The terrain is scarcely buildable, and its instability troubles rigid conceptualizations of landscapes and seascapes. Mapmakers have struggled to depict the interpenetrating salt and freshwaters, shoals, and islands.
In the early-eighteenth century, imperial projects intensified, and the region became imbricated in the transatlantic slave trade. A rapid increase in map production showed efforts to navigate the area and know the landscape. This presentation analyzes the image strategies of French marine maps, with additional attention to Spanish, English, and Indigenous spatial viewpoints, at a time when colonial investment was intensifying. Maps and drawings reveal how colonial expansion, imperial power, and enslavement were set against a natural landscape that thwarted cartographic fixity.

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