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Presented By: Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)

Winter 2022 MEMS Lecture. Arcadia Brasiliensis: Landscape and Colonial Dislocation in the Poetry of Cláudio Manuel da Costa

Adriana Vasquez, Classical Studies, UCLA; American Academy in Rome

Orbas Title Page Orbas Title Page
Orbas Title Page
The publication of the Orbas of the Brazilian Cláudio Manuel da Costa in 1769 is recognized as the beginning of a period in Brazilian colonial literature termed ‘Arcadianism.’ The literature of this period displays the initial formulations of Brazilian national identity, anticipating its independence in 1822 and negotiated by means of a neoclassical armature.

My lecture will consider formulations of space and landscape in the work of Cláudio Manuel da Costa, whose poetry, centered around the Greco-Roman bucolic Arcadia, reconciles the experience of inhabiting a landscape altered by colonialist intervention with the idyllic projection of the European literature which serves as his literary antecedent. Such a formulation encapsulates the tension between real and imagined spaces that characterizes European geographical thinking after the so-called ‘discovery’ of the Americas, which fundamentally altered the European world view.

The literature that emerged from the era of Iberian discovery and exploration would shape its colonial spaces in its own imagination through reliance on literary formulations of space coined in the literatures of Greco-Roman antiquity. This Eurocentric narrative is disrupted by literatures produced by the inhabitants of this New World, shaping the world that was their center in contradistinction to its image in European literatures.
Orbas Title Page Orbas Title Page
Orbas Title Page

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March 18, 2022 (Friday) 1:00pm
Meeting ID: 96994692100
Meeting Password: 126352

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