Reinterpreting Exploration: The West in the World

ISBN : 9780199755332

Dane Kennedy
256 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jan 2014
Reinterpreting History
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Exploration was a central and perhaps defining aspect of the West's encounters with other peoples and lands. Rather than reproduce celebratory narratives of individual heroism and national glory, this volume focuses on exploration's instrumental role in shaping a European sense of exceptionalism and its iconic importance in defining the terms of cultural engagement with other peoples. In chapters offering broad geographic range, the contributors address many of the key themes of recent research on exploration, including exploration's contribution to European imperial expansion, Western scientific knowledge, Enlightenment ideas and practices, and metropolitan print culture. They reassess indigenous peoples' responses upon first contacts with European explorers, their involvement as intermediaries in the operations of expeditions, and the complications that their prior knowledge posed for European claims of discovery. Underscoring that exploration must be seen as a process of mediation between representation and reality, this book provides a fresh and accessible introduction to the ongoing reinterpretation of exploration's role in the making of the modern world.


Introduction Reinterpreting Exploration
Dane Kennedy
Part One Themes
Chapter 1 Science and Exploration
Michael F. Robinson
Chapter 2 A Half Century of Shifting Narrative Perspectives on Encounters
Harry Liebersohn
Chapter 3 Exploration and Enlightenment
Philip J. Stern
Chapter 4 Exploration in Print: From the Miscellany to the Newspaper
Clare Pettitt
Chapter 5 The Making of British and French Legends of Exploration
Berny Sebe
Part Two Territories
Chapter 6 Exploration in Imperial Russia
Willard Sunderland
Chapter 7 Exploring the Pacific World
Jane Samson
Chapter 8 Decentering Exploration in East Africa
Stephen J. Rockel
Chapter 9 The Exploration of Central Asia
Gordon Stewart
Chapter 10 The Historiography of Antarctic Exploration
Stephanie Barczewski

About the author: 

Dane Kennedy is the Elmer Louis Kayser Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Last Blank Spaces: Exploring Africa and Australia.

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