Exploration: The Globe and Beyond

Monday, April 6, 2015
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
South Sea Dreams: Pacific Exploration in Spanish Histories of the Americas, 1500-1550
Ricardo Padrón, Associate Professor of Spanish, Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, University of Virginia,

The discovery of the Pacific is said to have revolutionized Europe's understanding of world geography by showing that America was too far from Asia and, thereby, a separate continent. Although this may have been true in the long run, early knowledge of the Pacific's true breadth and relative emptiness did not circulate broadly, which allowed Europeans to invent a Pacific Ocean that suited the ideologies of the day. This talk explores the ideologically charged invention of the Pacific by some of the most prominent historians of 'the Indies,' Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo and Francisco López de Gómara.

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by email at ftise@hss.caltech.edu.