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How the West was Won: Cartographic Encounters in New France and the Castor Canadensis A New and Exact Iconographic Analysis of The Beaver Maps

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How the West was Won: Cartographic Encounters in New France and the Castor Canadensis A New and Exact Iconographic Analysis of The Beaver Maps

Brownridge, Amanda Anne (2015) How the West was Won: Cartographic Encounters in New France and the Castor Canadensis A New and Exact Iconographic Analysis of The Beaver Maps. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Originally valued as neutral scientific documents, maps have traditionally been studied for the insight they could provide on the definition and transformation of national borders over time. In recent scholarship, maps have come to be understood as constructions. This is especially true of cartographic documents of the “New World” through which European colonial empires were attempting to understand, classify, and ultimately dominate a continent previously unknown to them. Although representative of a colonial perspective of the “New World,” maps also contain evidence of the encounter between Native Peoples and Europeans. These maps can be considered in terms of what Mary Louise Pratt calls contact zones. As such, maps remain important sources to analyze. Exploring the “Beaver Maps” as a case study, this thesis looks at the ways in which postcolonial theory and decolonizing methodologies can be used to deconstruct cartographic documents of New France. Using an approach called cartographic contextualization, this paper aims to reconstruct an image of the New World during the early years of contact to include multiple narratives. By deconstructing “the beaver cartouche” and the stories that informed the animated behaviours of the beavers represented in the image, we may perceive traces of the oral histories and worldviews of the Mi’kmaq Nation. Incorporation of these narratives underscores the encounter between the French and the Mi’kmaq in Acadia, highlighting the active roles played by Native American Nations in the “discovery,” exploration, and settlement of New France as well as the fur trade and transatlantic trade.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Brownridge, Amanda Anne
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:September 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Stowell, Steven
Keywords:Beaver, Beavers, Cartography, Map, Maps, Beaver Map, Beaver Maps, The Beaver Maps, Postcolonial Theory, Decolonizing Methodologies, Critical Cartography, Mi'kmaq, Storytelling, Worldview, Creation Stories, Mapping, New France, Contact Zones, Cartographic Contextualization, Cartographic Document, Nicolas de Fer, Nicolas Denys, Quebec, Canada,
ID Code:980388
Deposited By: AMANDA ANNE BROWNRIDGE
Deposited On:26 Oct 2015 18:51
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51
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