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Colonial Mediascapes

Sensory Worlds of the Early Americas

Matt Cohen

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 04/2014
Pages: 464
Subject: Social Science
eBook ISBN: 9780803254411

DESCRIPTION

In colonial North and South America, print was only one way of communicating. Information in various forms flowed across the boundaries between indigenous groups and early imperial settlements. Natives and newcomers made speeches, exchanged gifts, invented gestures, and inscribed their intentions on paper, bark, skins, and many other kinds of surfaces. No one method of conveying meaning was privileged, and written texts often relied on nonwritten modes of communication.   Colonial Mediascapes examines how textual and nontextual literatures interacted in colonial North and South America. Extending the textual foundations of early American literary history, the editors bring a wide range of media to the attention of scholars and show how struggles over modes of communication intersected with conflicts over religion, politics, race, and gender. This collection of essays by major historians, anthropologists, and literary scholars demonstrates that the European settlement of the Americas and European interaction with Native peoples were shaped just as much by communication challenges as by traditional concerns such as religion, economics, and resources.    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Cohen is an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England. Jeffrey Glover is an assistant professor of English at Loyola University Chicago and the author of Paper Sovereigns: Anglo-Native Treaties and the Law of Nations, 1604–1664.   Contributors: Ralph Bauer, Heidi Bohaker, Galen Brokaw, Jon Coleman, Jeffrey Glover, Peter Charles Hoffer, Andrew Newman, Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Richard Cullen Rath, Sarah Rivett, Gordon M. Sayre, and Germaine Warkentin.

REVIEWS

“Colonial Mediascapes offers compelling insights from a veritable Who’s Who of early American literacy studies. The range of topics, the geographical diversity, and the thoughtfully developed connections between these essays makes this a particularly welcome project. This is a timely collection that will without a doubt have a major impact on a number of intersecting fields—book history, Native studies, early American studies, literacy studies.”—Hilary E. Wyss, Hargis Professor of American Literature at Auburn University and author of English Letters and Indian Literacies: Reading, Writing, and New England Missionary Schools, 1750–1830



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