Cartography Seminar, Mahindra Humanities Center
In most accounts of European explorations and colonizations after 1492, it is assumed that an initial confusion between America and Asia steadily, even swiftly, gave way to the realization that America was a New World. By considering a wide array of texts, maps, objects, and images produced between 1492 and ca. 1700, it becomes possible instead to inhabit a coherent, if malleable, vision of a world where Mexico really was India, North America was an extension of China, and South America was populated by a variety of biblical and Asian sites. Considering the 1558 large-scale printed map by Caspar Vopel and Giovanni Andrea Vavassore held in the Houghton Library, this workshop will explore European representations of the lost vision of Amerasia that dominated the geographical imagination of Europe for two centuries after 1492.