Catherine Molineux on Visual Ethnography

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on April 14, 2012

Catherine Molineux | Visual Ethnography:  The Travelogue Illustration as a Site of Encounter
The Newberry Library, Chicago, 28 April 2012

Please join us Saturday, April 28, 2012, 2-4 pm for our Newberry Library Eighteenth-Century Seminar works-in-progress session with Catherine Molineux of Vanderbilt University.

Between the 1730s and 1780s, a French traveler’s tale about the coronation of a West African king circulated through France, England, and the Netherlands. Embedded in this description of Hueda rituals surrounding kingship was a story about European rivalry for the favor of a key African player in the Atlantic slave trade.  As this commercial drama played out in Europe through multiple retellings of the story, engravers transformed the single image that accompanied it, reworking  the original sketch into a full-color engraving. The illustration’s evolution tells a modern story about the role of the visual in securing imperial hierarchies threatened by the encounter with African sovereignty.

The Newberry Library Eighteenth-Century seminar is designed to foster research and inquiry across the scholarly disciplines in eighteenth-century studies.  It aims to provide a methodologically diverse forum for work that engages our ongoing discussions and debates along this historical and critical terrain.

Attendance at all events is free and open to the public but in order to receive the precirculated paper, participants are asked to register in advance by contacting the Center for Renaissance Studies at: renaissance@newberry.org. A reception follows each presentation. It is also the custom of the seminar to gather at a restaurant in the Newberry neighborhood to continue our conversation. If you would like to join us for dinner after any session, please email Lisa Freeman at lfreeman@uic.edu. For more information about the seminar, please visit our website. We welcome your attendance and participation at the seminar and look forward to continuing our lively discussions.

Timothy Campbell, University of Chicago
Lisa A. Freeman, University of Illinois at Chicago
John Shanahan, DePaul University
Helen Thompson, Northwestern University

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