September 1, 4PM, Room 4406
The Earthquake and the Whale
Anna Brickhouse, University of Virginia
This talk puts Herman Melville in dialogue with El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the sixteenth-century chronicler of Inca history and the Spanish conquest of Peru, suggesting how particular knowledge of catastrophe has flowed from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from south to north, creating alternatives to more familiar intellectual genealogies. Garcilaso’s influence on the Enlightenment helps explain the convergence of certain ideas about catastrophe and geography, a convergence that will become a structuring conceit of US-Americanness by the middle of the nineteenth century.
Reception to Follow
Hosted by the Ph.D. Program in English