Constructing Colonial Discourse: Cook at Nootka Sound, 1778

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, Aug 29, 2005 - History - 212 pages
While Captain James Cook's South Pacific voyages have been extensively studied, much less attention has been paid to his representation of the Pacific Northwest. In Constructing Colonial Discourse, Noel Elizabeth Currie focuses on the month Cook spent at Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1778 during his third Pacific voyage. Comparing the official 1784 edition of that voyage with Cook's journal account (made available in the scholarly edition prepared by New Zealand scholar J.C. Beaglehole), Currie demonstrates that the representation of North America's northwest coast in the late eighteenth century was shaped as much by the publication process as by British notions of landscape, natural history, cannibalism, and history in the new world. Most recent scholarship critiques imperialist representations of the non-European world while taking these published accounts at face value.
 

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Contents

Life in the Contact Zone
3
Travel and Exploration Literature Constructing the New World
19
Approaching Sublimity Aesthetics Exploration and the Northwest Coast
43
Science and Ethnography The Field of Vision
63
Cook and the Cannibals The Limits of Understanding
87
Reconstructing Cook
127
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About the author (2005)

Noel Elizabeth Currie is an instructor in the Department of English, Langara College.

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