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Cullman Center Institute for Teachers: Camels, Rhinos, and Armadillos: Picturing the World in the Age of Discoveries



How did Europeans make sense of the expanding globe in the Age of Discoveries? This seminar explores the impact of the printing revolution on Europeans’ perceptions of America, Africa, and Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We will examine how, in the absence of first-hand evidence, Europeans attempted to make sense of the contradictory accounts of travelers. And we will look at early maps, broadsheets, paintings, and printed texts to see how a highly stereotypical image of exotic worlds developed in Europe in this period. Readings will range from Montaigne through Purchas his Pilgrimage to secondary literature in cultural history and art history.

Dániel Margócsy is Assistant Professor of History at Hunter College, CUNY. He has published articles on cabinets of curiosities, the commercialization of science, the development of taxonomy, and the art of the Dutch Golden Age. He co-edited States of Secrecy, a special issue of the British Journal for the History of Science, on scientific secrets. At the Cullman Center, he is working on a book that examines how the creative arts influenced the development of modern science.