Visions of America Since 1492

Number of pages256
PublisherNew York : St Martins Press
Publication date1994

The common theme of these essays is the evolution of American cultural identities from a diverse colonial inheritance. Changing representations of what it means to be “American” are assumed to be the consequence of shifting cross-cultural or transatlantic pressures. Since 1492 the experience of America has continually been interpreted both for and by Europeans; the colonial past constituting the prime source of introspective energies and self-conscious representations for all Americans. The collection is divided into two sections, juxtaposing colonial negotiations with Native Americans and the modern self-perceptions of “native-born” Americans. The focus of the early part of the book is the vision of America that was formed through the process of colonization - with its attendant impact upon wildlife, landscapes and indigenous peoples - a vision registered in visual images and written records, as well as Western philosophical, ethnographic and aesthetic ideals.

  • American literature
  • American history
  • Literary history
  • Colonization
  • Cultural studies
Citation (ISO format)
MADSEN, Deborah Lea. Visions of America Since 1492. New York : St Martins Press, 1994.
  • PID : unige:92079

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