Session at Renaissance Society of America, Toronto, 17-19 March 2019
The availability of what William Ivins called “exactly repeatable visual statements” produced a technological revolution that transformed visual communication in the early modern world in ways no less significant than the internet has done for modern life. Travellers from Europe carried images with them around the globe to maintain awareness of their own culture and to share ideas and information with those they encountered. Returning explorers circulated their discoveries through prints and illustrated books. This phenomenon has been the subject of much study in recent years, but often, researchers focus on specific cultural interactions, such as Jesuit preaching in Mexico or Dutch perceptions of China or the New World. This session is part of a collaborative, international project, now in its formative stage, to develop an on-line network for researchers concerned with the impact of European visual imagery in contact zones throughout the world in the early modern period (16th-18th centuries). We hope that sharing of publications and information about specific projects can lead to collaborative research and identification of global patterns of communication and exchange. Paper topics might address instances of the use of prints for visual communication between cultures, the circulation of information (such as travel accounts) through prints, or the collecting and dissemination of visual imagery to sustain awareness of the home culture among Europeans colonists themselves. We are especially interested in research using digital humanities methods, but all approaches are welcome.
Abstracts of up to 250 words in length, together with a CV, should be sent to: Stephanie Dickey at: dickey.ss