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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Imaging/Imagining the Americas: Cartography and Ecology across the Renaissance Atlantic (HIAR10188)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines a variety of different types of representations of land and nature that were produced in the wake of the ¿discovery¿ of the Americas, by both European colonists and Indigenous peoples. Critical attention is paid to how transcultural exchanges were crucial to the production of knowledge during the Early Modern period, and how images like those under study blur modern distinctions between art and science.
Course description Immediately following the ¿discovery¿ of the Americas, Europeans made copious efforts to render the New World visually intelligible. This included mapping out its terrain cartographically, as well as representing its plants, animals, and peoples, in various media. Moreover, Europeans were not alone in these endeavours. Indigenous peoples¿at times at the behest of colonial authorities, at others independently¿created their own representations of the lands and peoples of the Americas during the Early Modern period, even developing entirely new genres of visual media.

A rapidly emerging body of art historical scholarship has examined how representations of the Americas produced both in the New World and the Old were figurative in the production and exchange of knowledge across oceans during the Early Modern period. These images were crucial to the development of bodies of ¿scientific¿ knowledge that came to construct and define the Americas as a bounded space, as well as understandings of its people, flora, and fauna. These bodies of knowledge were often marshalled in service of colonial European exploitation, yet Native groups also produced images that were meant to help assert their own rights and privileges, working both within and against colonial power structures and knowledge regimes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2A Reason, Romance, Revolution: Art from 1700 to 1900 (HIAR08027) AND History of Art 2B From Modernism and the Avant-Gardes to Postmodernism and Globalisation (HIAR08028) OR Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007) AND
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesPre-Requisites ¿ Visiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. As numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) You will be assessed for this course in two ways:«br /»
(1) ESSAY (worth 50% of your overall mark)«br /»
One 2,000 word essay, the title to be chosen from a list supplied; due at the end of the semester.«br /»
(2) EXAM (worth 50% of your overall mark)«br /»
One 24-hour online exam in May diet.«br /»
«br /»
Both summative components of assessment are assessed against all five course Learning Outcomes. Each Learning Outcome is equally weighted, and therefore comprises 20% of overall final course summative grade.«br /»
Feedback Students are given feedback on FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT as follows:
You will be asked to prepare a presentation to deliver to the class and to submit a short (c.300 word) summary of your presentation with references. You will receive verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting afterwards (in person or online). The presentation will demonstrate knowledge and understanding that will contribute to your performance in your summative assessment.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: There will be an essay and an exam, equally weighted. Written feedback on student essays will be provided, in addition to the opportunity for a one-to-one meeting towards the end of semester.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)24 hour online examination paper0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate skills of visual analysis and interpretation by looking in detail at early maps and representations of nature.
  2. Analyse the ways in which both European colonists and Indigenous peoples produced images of the Americas and put them toward different purposes.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of early cartographic practices and the role of images in knowledge production following the ¿discovery¿ of the New World.
  4. Critically examine the ways in which cultural/ideological assumptions regarding the nature of the world are embedded in visual representations of it.
  5. Apply developed skills of analysis, communication, and organisation.
Reading List
Barbara E. Mundy. 1996. The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geogra¿ficas. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Jaime Marroqui¿n Arredondo and Ralph Bauer (eds.). 2019. Translating Nature: Cross-Cultural Histories of Early Modern Science. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Ricardo Padro¿n. 2004. The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Alfred W. Crosby. 1972. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Lia Markey. 2016. Imagining the Americas in Medici Florence. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis; Clear thinking and the development of an argument; Independent research; Presentation and communication skills; Organisation and planning.
KeywordsLatin America,Mexico,Renaissance,Colonialism,Maps,Cartography,Environment,Ecology,Nature
Course organiserDr Jamie Forde
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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