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The rapid rise in popularity of maps and geography handbooks in the eighteenth century ushered in a new geographic literacy among nonelite Americans. In a pathbreaking and richly illustrated examination of this transformation, Martin Bruckner argues that geographic literacy as it was played out in popular literary genres--written, for example, by William Byrd, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Royall Tyler, Charles Brockden Brown, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark--significantly influenced identity formation in America from the 1680s to the 1820s.
Drawing on historical geography, cartography, literary history, and material culture, Bruckner recovers a vibrant culture of geography consisting of property plats and surveying manuals, decorative wall maps and school geographies, the nation's first atlases, and sentimental objects such as needlework samplers. By showing how this geographic revolution affected the production of literature, Bruckner demonstrates that the internalization of geography as a kind of language helped shape the literary construction of the modern American subject. Empirically rich and provocative in its readings, "The Geographic Revolution in Early America" proposes a new, geographical basis for Anglo-Americans' understanding of their character and its expression in pedagogical and literary terms.
"Martin Bruckner's wide-ranging study offers a vibrant interdisciplinary account of the contribution of geographical literacy to the development of an Anglo-American cultural identity." - Nancy Ruttenburg, New York University"
|Introduction : the geographic revolution in the wilderness||p. 1|
|The surveyed self : geodesy, writing, and colonial identity in eighteenth-century British America||p. 16|
|The continent speaks : geography, oratory, and the figuration of identity in revolutionary America||p. 51|
|Maps, spellers, and the semiotics of nationalism in the early republic||p. 98|
|Geography textbooks and reading national character||p. 142|
|Novel geographies of the republic||p. 173|
|Native American geographies and the journals of Lewis and Clark||p. 204|
|Literacy of empire : geography, education, and the aesthetic of territoriality||p. 238|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American Hist
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 1st February 2006
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.54