Amerasia - making a lost continent visible

You are cordially invited to the following free event:

Professor Elizabeth Horodowich (New Mexico State University)

Amerasian Visions: Marco Polo, Trust, and Global Geography in the Early Modern World

We tend to think that shortly after the Columbian voyages, Europeans began to understand the lands he explored as America, or as a fourth and separate continent. Much evidence, however, suggests that Europeans  represented the Americas as overlapping or contiguous with Asia in the decades and centuries following Columbus’ explorations. That is to say, early modern Europeans continued to trust in and adhere to Marco Polo’s understanding of global geography, well into the seventeenth century. By considering myriad representations of Amerasia, this talk seeks to make this lost continent visible, as well as to explore the ramifications and significance of this Amerasian world view.

Elizabeth Horodowich is Professor of History at New Mexico State University. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from a variety of institutions, including Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti, the American Historical Association, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author of four books generally focused on the history of early modern Italy and Venice, most recently, The Venetian Discovery of America: Geographic Imagination and Print Culture in the Age of Encounters (Cambridge 2018). Her current research on Amerasia, together with her co-author Alexander Nagel of New York University, considers the myriad visual and textual ways that Europeans represented the New World as Asia. Their research on Amerasia was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant between 2017-2019.

Date: Thursday February 14, 2019
Time: 6.15pm - 8pm
Venue: William McMahon Ball Lecture Theatre, Old Arts (Building 149), The University of Melbourne

This event is supported by the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS) and the Trust and Cultural Exchange Project (funded by the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne)

Australasia Centre for Italian StudiesIn the year 2000, the Australian Centre for Italian Studies (later Australasian Centre for Italian Studies: ACIS) was created to launch initiatives to encourage  collaboration among Italianists. Trust and Cultural Exchange project The trust project explores theory and practices of trust across history and cultures. The aim is to understand trust-making by investigating concepts and case studies of trust or distrust in the production of social, cultural, and economic capitals.

The project explores trust-making and distrust at the levels of institutions (governments, banks, universities), mediators (translators, journalists, doctors, politicians), medium (newspapers, cinema, music), and mobility (exchange and contact between individuals, communities, institutions). The project group engage in research activities, talks and workshops to realise the vision to deepen understanding of how trust shapes global culture and transcultural exchanges.

​For more details please contact Andrea Rizzi: arizzi@unimelb.edu.au