Toromoreno, Rodrigo D.
One World is Not Enough: The Colonial Amazon and the Shaping of the New World.
Degree: PhD, Romance Languages and Literatures: Spanish, 2015, University of Michigan
This dissertation revisits the term ‘world’ to examine its function in the construct ‘New World’, focusing on seventeenth-century imaginings of the Amazon River at a time when geopolitical affairs were challenging what appeared to be a categorical concept. Analyzing a series of mid-century expeditions from opposing parties and geographical extremes of the river, Jesuit annual reports in which subsequent settlement designs are laid out, official documents with similar aspirations, chronicles describing life in the tropical rainforest, and visual sources including a still life painting where this material is rendered, the colonial Amazon is read through these texts in a way that seeks to understand the system they collectively shape—the ‘world’ that, in other words, they form. The crux of the analysis then becomes an engagement with the question of what it means to be in this world shaped predominantly by water, and in particular what it means for those who exist within it in a mode that does not agree with its design.
That ‘world’ is understood as an entity which is ‘whole’ is a premise that sets the context of the first chapter which explores renditions of an incomplete New World in ontological terms. Elaborating on this direction, the second chapter uses a mid-century expedition, recorded by the Jesuit Cristóbal de Acuña, to explore the mechanics of world shaping wherein the Amazon’s topography is conceptually rearranged to align with geopolitical interests. The handling of nature is further examined in the third chapter through a Dutch a still life painting of colonial Brazil and a Portuguese letter advocating the transplantation of crops to the colony. Here ‘tropical nature’ is treated as a concept that is fashioned in response to erstwhile renditions of these worlds, turning the shaping process into a revisionist undertaking.
Using Amazonian archaeology in conjunction with annual reports of Jesuit 'aldeas', the final chapter examines the project’s central question through Amerindian responses to the world order established in these occidental texts. Tensions generated by conflicting spatial configurations are read as instances of indigenous agency coming into view and demonstrating the possibilities for defining the New World otherwise.
Advisors/Committee Members: Verdesio, Gustavo (committee member), Hebrard, Jean M. (committee member), Goes Neves, Eduardo (committee member), Nemser, Daniel J. (committee member), Garcia Santo-Tomas, Enrique (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: Amazonia; Seventeenth-Century; New World Cosmography; Romance Languages and Literature; Humanities
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Toromoreno, R. D. (2015). One World is Not Enough: The Colonial Amazon and the Shaping of the New World. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/113396
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Toromoreno, Rodrigo D. “One World is Not Enough: The Colonial Amazon and the Shaping of the New World.” 2015. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan. Accessed October 22, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Toromoreno, Rodrigo D. “One World is Not Enough: The Colonial Amazon and the Shaping of the New World.” 2015. Web. 22 Oct 2019.
Toromoreno RD. One World is Not Enough: The Colonial Amazon and the Shaping of the New World. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2015. [cited 2019 Oct 22].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/113396.
Council of Science Editors:
Toromoreno RD. One World is Not Enough: The Colonial Amazon and the Shaping of the New World. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2015. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/113396