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William MacMahon Ballroom Theatre - Old Arts - University of Melbourne

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Prof Elizabeth Horodowich (New Mexico State University)

Amerasian Visions: Marco Polo, Trust, and Global Geography in the Early Modern World

We tend to think that shortly after the Columbian voyages, Europeans began to understand the lands he explored as America, or as a fourth and separate continent. Much evidence, however, suggests that Europeans represented the Americas as overlapping or contiguous with Asia in the decades and centuries following Columbus’ explorations. That is to say, early modern Europeans continued to trust in and adhere to Marco Polo’s understanding of global geography, well into the seventeenth century. By considering myriad representations of Amerasia, this talk seeks to make this lost continent visible, as well as to explore the ramifications and significance of this Amerasian world view.

Elizabeth Horodowich is Professor of History at New Mexico State University. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from a variety of institutions, including Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti, the American Historical Association, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author of four books generally focused on the history of early modern Italy and Venice, most recently, The Venetian Discovery of America: Geographic Imagination and Print Culture in the Age of Encounters (Cambridge 2018). Her current research on Amerasia, together with her co-author Alexander Nagel of New York University, considers the myriad visual and textual ways that Europeans represented the New World as Asia. Their research on Amerasia was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant between 2017-2019.

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William MacMahon Ballroom Theatre - Old Arts - University of Melbourne

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