The Spacious World: Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain

January 12, 2008

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Cartography, the science of making accurate maps, was still in its infancy during the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. This meant that one of the great historical endeavors of that period - the discovery and conquest of the Americas by Spain - was carried out using "maps" that were more often verbal than pictorial.  Padrón identifies cartographic sensibilities within sixteenth-century epic poems, explorers' travel accounts, and other literary texts and demonstrates how these verbal maps are better understood as extensions of medieval than as modern ways of conceptualizing and representing space.

Recorded Saturday, January 12, 2008 at The Newberry Library