Colonial & Postcolonial
Literary Dialogues

Vespucci Awakens an Amerindian and Gives Her the Name of America.
By Theodore Galle, after Stradanus (Jan van der Street), 1521
From: L'Amerique historique, 1638 pl.6 Bibliotheque Mazarine, Paris


This etching captures a colonial dialogue from a strictly European imaginary. Vespucci is fully clothed bearing his flag, cross, and astrolabe-symbol of technological sophistication. The Amerindian is naked and provocative-inviting the European to herself and the exotic new land. In the background notice other Amerindians portrayed as cannibals.

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Colonial & Postcolonial Literary Dialogues

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