On the Colonial Genealogy of George Vancouver's Chart of the Northwest Coast of North America

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper contributes to the burgeoning critical literature on the history of cartography by tracking the links between maps, knowledge and power that stemmed from George Vancouver's survey of the north-west coast of North America. Dispatched to the region by the British in 1791, Vancouver conducted an exhaustive cartographic survey and has been represented as the 'true discoverer' of the coast. It is argued here that he created a cartographic space (rather than simply discovered a pre-existing geography), and that his reconnaissance induced and supported a range of imperial and colonial practices. Vancouver's work played a central role in the creation of a system of imperial inscription that primed the coast for colonial intervention. Attention is paid to the ways in which Vancouver's project became (and remains) authoritative and influential in imperial and colonial terms: how it turned the coast into an arena of British imperial interest by occluding prior and alternative inscriptions on the land; how a variety of colonial images, projects and associations were derived from his work; and how we might now see his work in relation to the present.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)371-401
    Number of pages31
    JournalEcumene
    Volume7
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'On the Colonial Genealogy of George Vancouver's Chart of the Northwest Coast of North America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this