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UBC Theses and Dissertations

There : monsters on maps, their decline, and knowing and not knowing the world, 1492- Ward, Karen


This is an exploratory essay on the representational and metaphorical uses of monsters during the early modern period. In it, I argue that the cartographical uses of monsters are a component of a larger and pervasive discourse on colonialism throughout this period. The European imaginary, taken aback by the "cosmographic shock" of the Americas, struggled to incorporate the new image of the world with their sense of cultural superiority. What I show is a complex and often contradictory mix of ideas, images, and meanings, since so much of what was accepted as true before was so completely wrong. It is completely unprovable, but that is because this is about the past.

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