Eighteenth-Century Seminar: Catherine A. Molineux

Catherine A. Molineux, Vanderbilt University
Catherine A. Molineux, Vanderbilt University
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Eighteenth-Century Seminar
Saturday, April 28, 2012

2:00 p.m.


Visual Ethnography: The Travelogue Illustration as a Site of Encounter

Catherine A. Molineux, Vanderbilt University

Between the 1730s and 1780s, a French traveler’s tale about the coronation of a West African king circulated throughout France, England, and the Netherlands. Embedded in this description of Hueda rituals surrounding kingship was a story about European rivalry for the favor of a key African player in the Atlantic slave trade. As this commercial drama played out in Europe through multiple retellings of the story,  engravers transformed the single image that accompanied it, reworking  the original sketch into a full-color engraving. The illustration’s evolution tells a modern story about the role of the visual in securing imperial hierarchies threatened by the encounter with African sovereignty.

A reception will follow the seminar. 

This program is free and open to the public, but registration in advance is required. Register online here. Precirculated papers will be sent electronically to registrants.

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Learn more about the Center for Renaissance Studies’ Eighteenth-Century Seminar.