By: Nancy Lees Stepan
283 pages, Illus
Fascinating cultural history of the art of tropical regions.
From the publisher's announcement:
Whether as sublime landscape, malignant wilderness or site for environmental conflicts and eco-tourism, tropical nature is to a great extent an American and European imaginative construct, conveyed in literature, travel writing, drawings, paintings, photographs and diagrams. These images are central to Nancy Leys Stepan's view that a critical examination of the 'tropicalization of nature' can remedy some of the most persistent misrepresentations of the tropics and its peoples.
Reflecting on the work of scientists and artists, photographic attempts to represent tropical races, anti-tropicalism and its role in an emerging environmentalist sensibility, and depictions of disease in the new tropical medicine, Stepan identifies the conflicts over meaning that shaped the emergence of the tropics, and in so doing questions the nature of representation itself.
Nancy Leys Stepan is Professor of History at Columbia University, New York. Her previous books include 'The Hour of Eugenics': Race, Gender and Nation (1991).
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