Events Calendar
Ann Rosalind Jones (Smith College), Erin Hammeke (Duke Library)
Theodor De Bry’s Voyages to the New and Old Worlds
Duke's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies published by Duke University Press are presenting a symposium to celebrate the publication of a special issue of JMEMS dedicated to Theodor De Bry's massively illustrated, multivolume issue of European travel narratives to the entire world, assessing the ways in which New World "discoveries" in America changed the way Europeans thought of themselves and of the ancient Asian civilizations with which they shared the world. The presenters will address the volumes in terms of the history of the book, costume history, proto-colonial discourse, and significant changes in European visual culture. See the full schedule below.

The special issue "Theodor De Bry's Voyages to the New and Old Worlds," edited by Maureen Quilligan, is the vol. 41, no. 1 (winter 2011) issue of JMEMS. For the table of contents for this issue, see:

Illustrated by more than six hundred plates and comprising twenty-seven volumes published over a span of nearly half a century by Theodor de Bry and his family from 1590 to 1634, the India Occidentales and India Orientalis series comprise a collection of European travels to the rest of the world that has offered a goldmine to scholars seeking material for the study of Europe’s attitudes toward foreign others. Only quite recently, however, has any study been devoted to the compilations’ complicated history as a book in and of itself. Yet the India Occidentales or America was probably the single most important influence on European thinking about the Americas at the dawn of the seventeenth century. This special issue explores two fundamental questions about the collection as a very influential whole. First, the essays look at how the volumes on the voyages to the West have influenced European perceptions of the voyages to the East. Secondly, the essays examine the impact that the visualizations for which the collection was so famous had on other texts of the period, specifically on how racial difference was registered in terms of skin color, clothing, and writing itself. The essays keep the focus on De Bry’s volumes as they form part of a series that builds a sense of the entire world from the point of view of its northern European readership. In this way, the essays underscore the global effect of the collection, a positioning of northern Europe not merely with respect to the New World but also to the entire globe.


Friday, March 18, 2011, Biddle Rare Book Reading Room

2:00 pm: Maureen Quilligan, R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English, Duke University -- Welcome; Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian, Duke University -- Introduction; Erin Hemmeke, Special Collections Conservator, Duke University “Transforming De Bry: Collaboration in the Treatment of De Bry’s Depictions of the Americas”

3:30-3:45 Break

3:45 pm: Valeria Finucci, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Duke University -- Introduction; Ann Jones, Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor of Comparative Literature, Smith College “Framing the Indigene: De Bry’s America and the European Costume Book”

5:00-6:00 pm Reception

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 201 Flowers (coffee and pastries served)

10:00 am: Jessica Wolfe, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill -- Introduction; Michiel van Groesen, Assistant Professor of Early Modern History, University of Amesterdam “The De Bry Collection of Voyages: Genesis and Apotheosis”

11:00 am: Srinivas Arvamudan, Dean of the Humanities, Duke University -- Introduction; Shankar Raman, Associate Professor of Literature, MIT “Learning from De Bry: Lessons in Seeing and Writing the Heathen”

12:00 pm: Meg Greer, Professor of Romance Studies, Duke University -- Introduction; Walter Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature, Duke University “Crossing Gazes and the Silence of the ‘Indians’: Theodor de Bry and Guman Poma de Ayala”

Friday, March 18, 2011, 2:00pm
Duke CMRS / JMEMS Symposium