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Surveying the American TropicsA Literary Geography from New York to Rio$
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Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Peter Hulme, Owen Robinson, and Lesley Wylie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318900

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318900.001.0001

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The Art of Observation: Race and Landscape in A Journey in Brazil

The Art of Observation: Race and Landscape in A Journey in Brazil

(p.313) The Art of Observation: Race and Landscape in A Journey in Brazil
Surveying the American Tropics

Nina Gerassi-Navarro

Liverpool University Press

In 1859, Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory produced a major change in the understanding and perception of the natural world. Famed Harvard scientist, Louis Agassiz, vehemently opposed Darwin's theory. Focusing on the representations of race and landscape in Agassiz's scientific travels to Brazil in 1865, Nina Gerassi-Navarro examines the ways in which evolution was resisted and negotiated, through direct experience and subjectivity. Drawing on visual and verbal accounts by Agassiz, his wife Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, and his student William James, the essay confronts three forms of observation, highlighting the effect cultural frameworks and the development of new scientific paradigms had on the concept of observation.

Keywords:   Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, Louis Agassiz, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Brazil, photography, race, landscape, evolution, scientific representation

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