The contrast between the temperate and the tropical is one of the most enduring themes in the history of the Western geographical imagination. Caught between the demands of experience and representation, documentation and fantasy, travelers in the tropics have often treated tropical nature as a foil to the temperate, to all that is civilized, modest, and enlightened. "Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire" explores images of the tropical world - maps, paintings, botanical drawings, photographs, diagrams, and texts - produced by European and American travelers over the past three centuries. Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors from disciplines across the arts and humanities, this volume contains eleven beautifully illustrated essays - arranged in three sections devoted to voyages, mappings, and sites - that consider the ways that tropical places were encountered, experienced, and represented in visual form.
Covering a wide range of tropical sites in the Pacific, South Asia, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, the book will appeal to a broad readership: scholars of postcolonial studies, art history, literature, imperial history, history of science, geography, and anthropology. 9 colour plates, 59 halftones