A Moveable Feast: Jane V. Rago

When:November 13, 2014
6 p.m.
Where:The Ships of the Sea Museum, 41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Admission:FREE and open to the public.

About this event:

X Marks the Spot: Treasure Maps and National Identity in the Far, Far Away
Dr. Jane Rago, The Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy

The popularity of adventure novels exploded at the end of the nineteenth century, as a seemingly insatiable Western audience clamored for fantastic tales of the “far, far away.” These tales both quelled and reflected late imperial anxieties about national identity. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883) supplied images of the modern pirate, but perhaps more importantly the novel also bequeathed the perdurable romance of the treasure map. As the Age of Exploration gave way to the Age of Adventure, treasure maps replaced blank maps of colonial conquest—cartographies to be deciphered and decoded rather than charted and written.  Cultural theorist Jane V. Rago will analyze late-imperial adventure tales, arguing that these narratives served as sites of cultural domination that inscribed national identity in ways that parallel current discourses of globalization.

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