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The Cultural Geography of Colonial American Literatures Empire, Travel, Modernity by Ralph (University of Maryland, College Park) Bauer

The Cultural Geography of Colonial American Literatures Empire, Travel, Modernity


Part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series


The Cultural Geography of Colonial American Literatures Empire, Travel, Modernity by Ralph (University of Maryland, College Park) Bauer

In this 2003 book, Ralph Bauer presents a comparative investigation of colonial prose narratives in Spanish and British America from 1542 to 1800. He discusses narratives of shipwreck, captivity and travel, as well as imperial and natural histories of the New World in the context of transformative early modern scientific ideologies and investigates the inter-connectedness of literary evolutions in various places of the early modern Atlantic world. Bauer positions the narrative models promoted by the 'New Sciences' during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries within the context of the geopolitical question of how knowledge can be centrally controlled in outwardly expanding empires. This important and highly original study of Early American literature brings into conversation with one another writers from various parts of the early modern Atlantic world including Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, Samuel Purchas, William Strachey, Mary Rowlandson, Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora, William Byrd and Hector St John de Crevecoeur.


...[a] masterful exploration of early American in insight, powerful in originality, and sweeping in the connections it opens between culture, geography, politics, science, and the inscription of colonial identity.

Dan Morisson, Salem State College, Renaissance Quarterly This excellent book is a distinguished addition to the comparative studies that have been one strength of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture series.

William and Mary Quarterly, Bruce Greenfield, Dalhousie University The work is written in clear and precise prose following a well constructed outline with a specific goal: to offer readers a coherent critical approach to the way in which travel writers informal legal, military and scientific projects as well as creative representations of the region. Bauer's book makes significant contributions to the emerging fields of trans-Atlantic studies, trans-hemispheric studies, and the cultural geography of knowledge.

The Americas, Ricardo Padron, University of Virginia rich attention to context...Bauer is particularly adept at drawing on contemporary critical debates in historiography, formal criticism, and discourse analysis to better situate and delineate a mercantilism of knowledge. - American Literature, Ed White, University of Florida, Gainesville ...dense, richly rewarding book, full of intriguing readings of both well- and little- known texts.

Modern Philology, Ralph Bauer, Cambridge

About the Author

Ralph Bauer is Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. His articles have appeared in numerous collections and journals.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th January 2009


Ralph (University of Maryland, College Park) Bauer

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Cambridge University Press


316 pages


Literary theory
Literary studies: general
Population & demography
History of the Americas



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