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Picturing Tropical Nature, Paperback / softback Book

Picturing Tropical Nature Paperback / softback

Part of the Picturing History series


Whether as sublime landscape, malignant wilderness or site for environmental conflicts and eco-tourism, tropical nature is to a great extent an American and European imaginative construct, conveyed in literature, travel writing, drawings, paintings, photographs and diagrams.

These images are central to Nancy Leys Stepan's view that a critical examination of the "tropicalization of nature" can remedy some of the most persistent misrepresentations of the tropics and its peoples.

This book reflects on the work of several 19th- and 20th-century scientists and artists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Alfred Russel Wallace, Louis Agassiz, Sir Patrick Manson and Margaret Mee.

Their careers illuminate several aspects of tropicalization: science and art in the making of tropical pictures; the commercial and cultural boom in things tropical in the modern period; photographic attempts to represent tropical hybrid races; anti-tropicalism and its role in an emerging environmentalist sensibility; and visual depictions of disease in the new tropical medicine. Essential to Stepan's analysis are the responses to European projections of artists, scientists and intellectuals living in tropical regions.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 288 pages, 89 illustrations
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General arts
  • ISBN: 9781861891464

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