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Imagining the Atacama Desert
Start Date: 2/3/2017Start Time: 3:00 PM
End Date: 2/3/2017End Time: 4:00 PM
Event Description
Richard V. Francaviglia, Professor Emeritus, will speak about his recent research.

Through the analysis of maps and written narratives he will demonstrate how the Atacama Desert of South America was discovered, and then re-discovered, over nearly five centuries in a series of sequential phases. From about 1530 to 1700, “Atacama” designated a remote but strategic political province whose lack of population rather than desert climate was emphasized. After about 1700, however, the Atacama began to be identified as an arid region as a result of increasingly scientific mapping and exploration. In this transitional phase, the Atacama was part of a broader pattern in which the political mapping of empires was gradually supplemented by thematic physical or scientific mapmaking. In the third stage, which began in the mid-1830s, the Atacama Desert became linked to increasingly strong nationalist impulses and the rapidly growing power of international corporate developments in transportation and mineral extraction. In the fourth and current stage, which began about 1945, the Atacama began to be promoted and marketed as the quintessential desert worth experiencing for its uniqueness — something early explorers would have found incomprehensible. Past, present, and future, the Atacama reveals much about how places are discovered, and then re-discovered, through time.
Location Information:
*WU Campus - Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: 503-370-6300
Room: Hatfield Room
Contact Information:
Name: Doreen Simonsen
Phone: 503 375-5343
Email: dsimonse@willamette.edu
Richard Francaviglia
Admission / Ticket Info:
Free Admission
Event Sponsor(s):
Faculty Colloquium
Other Details:
Students are welcome

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