HIST 96 CM: The Amazon

From the time of the conquest, the outside world turned the Amazon into an imagined place to unleash their adventure fantasies about lost cities of gold and their fears about savage jungles and Indians. From a historical perspective, this course interrogates the creation of Amazonia from the nineteenth-century rubber boom to contemporary environmental campaigns. We analyze visual images, explorers’ accounts, ethnographies, novels, films, advertisements and environmental campaigns. The point is to understand how the Amazon and its people have been imagined externally and internally, and why certain narratives hold power in the Western world. Instructor: S. Sarzynski [Elective]