Travelogues have long figured as among the most alluring and most fraught sources for scholars of Latin America's past. Their authors pursued personal and professional interests yet also endeavored to offer panoramic perspectives on social, political, and economic conditions in foreign lands. Their illustrations can include rare visual evidence of these conditions and corroborate conclusions drawn from other sources. At the same time, as Ana Lucia Araujo reminds us, beginning in the sixteenth century travel writing produced knowledge about America that forged and sustained imperial and colonial hierarchies. Here, in a translated and substantially revised version of her Romantisme tropical (2008), Araujo, who has written extensively on memory, heritage, and slavery in the Atlantic world, examines this complexity and the politics of representation in the French artist François-Auguste Biard's (1799–1882) Deux années au Brésil (Two years in Brazil), published in 1862. As...

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