➊ Mary Louise Pratt

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Mary Louise Pratt

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Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation -- Mary Louise Pratt

Read the review of the anthology. Edwy follows all the standard tropes, requesting ever bigger and grander wishes until he finally asks for something that cannot be granted, and all his wishes are reversed and he ends up back where he started, in his poor fisher hut. Unlike some versions of this story, though, there is no happy resolution, no moral; he is just as discontented then as he was to start with. View all posts by Sara L. Like Like. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. She also introduces us with a new word "autoethnography", which means the way in.

Are the pollens scattered throughout the atmosphere hinting to your itchy nose that allergy season is fast approaching? Pratt explains many terms that she believes are beneficial in gaining a further understanding of a literary piece. Key terms such as, contact zone, autoethnography and transculturation are introduced in her essay. While lecturing her fellow colleagues Pratt argues that our idea of community is strongly utopian.

As a student I have read several essays, all in different but connecting points of view that explore in depth the diverse ways of education, educating in the literate arts, learning, using the information, and applying it to life. Four authors. Ironically, America is considered the melting pot of the world but still promotes the theories of a homogeneous community and sways away from contact zones. Mary Louise Pratt. London and New York: Routledge.

In the introduction to her thorough investigation of the ways in which travel writing helped to produce subject positions for diverse individuals within imperialism, Mary Louise Pratt relates two stories: the first, the story of her strange rural Canadian connection to Dr. At first glance, these two stories seem to hold little in common aside from a very broad relationship to imperial history. As such, she positions herself politically in the burgeoning movement to decolonize knowledge with a marked commitment to a de-centering of the Western eye and a rethinking of the relation between centre and periphery. The starting point for the book is the midth century, a moment, Pratt claims, that denotes a shift in European consciousness, when bourgeois forms of subjectivity and power were consolidated and a new territorial phase of capitalist expansion began.

This was undoubtedly a groundbreaking approach to the study of imperialism at the time of publication, since it promised to shed light on resistance and the productive nature of imperial discourses. As such, this framework provides a meaningful encounter with the diverse forms of data Pratt tackles throughout this book. However, I would argue that overall, the concept of transculturation remains relatively under-developed. She does so in Chapter 3, for instance, by laying bare the relationship between the development of natural history writing, the systematizing of nature, and imperial expansion, through a juxtaposition of the pre-Linnaen travel writing of Peter Kolb and the writings of three prominent 19th century natural history writers: Anders Sparrman, William Paterson and John Barrow, all of whom wrote about their travels in South Africa.

She proceeds to demonstrate how, by their very objective and disembodied stance, the latter writers facilitated imperial expansion. It is in the figure of the naturalist that Pratt is able to most effectively illustrate how the protagonist of the anti-conquest is most often surrounded by an aura not of authority but of innocence and vulnerability. This comes across most clearly in the ways that natural history formed a particular style of travel writing that aimed at territorial surveillance, appropriation of resources, and administrative control.

In this way, Pratt masterfully demonstrates how one must consistently read seemingly innocent forms of knowledge production for what they produce, including in this case, how they form European subjectivities. In it, she points to the ways that knowledge about the Americas underwent a significant transformation following the writings of Alexander von Humboldt in the early 19th century.

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