Citation

Domesticating the “Naturalists’ Paradise”: Images and the Perception of the Environment in 19th Century Madagascar

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Abstract:

By the nineteenth century, Madagascar had attracted the attention of the Western scientific community as a land of unusual species. Naturalists, including missionaries, who explored and studied the island, struggled to fully explain the environment of Madagascar in the context of global scientific theories, often normalizing the unique fauna and flora in their writings and imagery. Images were essential to the understanding of Madagascar not only because they allowed those who had never visited to participate in conceptualizing it, but also because these images possessed a scientific authority to them, providing a degree of trust to their viewers. Yet instead of an ecosystem that challenged scientific explanation, illustrations and photographs often helped to craft a perception of Madagascar as a tame and domesticated island in order to emphasize its potential as a cash crop colony. The transformation of Madagascar’s environment in the Western eye reframed debates over the use, and control, of land to elevate the need for development even while sparking concerns over protecting the land from the practices of the local Malagasy.
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Association:
Name: ASEH Annual Conference
URL:
http://aseh.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170761_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Anderson, Thomas. "Domesticating the “Naturalists’ Paradise”: Images and the Perception of the Environment in 19th Century Madagascar" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170761_index.html>

APA Citation:

Anderson, T. J. "Domesticating the “Naturalists’ Paradise”: Images and the Perception of the Environment in 19th Century Madagascar" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170761_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: By the nineteenth century, Madagascar had attracted the attention of the Western scientific community as a land of unusual species. Naturalists, including missionaries, who explored and studied the island, struggled to fully explain the environment of Madagascar in the context of global scientific theories, often normalizing the unique fauna and flora in their writings and imagery. Images were essential to the understanding of Madagascar not only because they allowed those who had never visited to participate in conceptualizing it, but also because these images possessed a scientific authority to them, providing a degree of trust to their viewers. Yet instead of an ecosystem that challenged scientific explanation, illustrations and photographs often helped to craft a perception of Madagascar as a tame and domesticated island in order to emphasize its potential as a cash crop colony. The transformation of Madagascar’s environment in the Western eye reframed debates over the use, and control, of land to elevate the need for development even while sparking concerns over protecting the land from the practices of the local Malagasy.


 
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