Coming soon: The Anthropomorphic Lens

I am pleased to announce that The Anthropomorphic Lens: Anthropomorphism, Microcosmism, and Analogy in Early Modern Thought and Visual Arts, is in production and due to come out in September, 2014 (production now scheduled for October, 2014). Brill is publishing the volume, and has posted preliminary information about it here.

In my essay, I discuss the surprising number of diverse contexts in which the grotesque, female cannibal appears in 17th-c. visual culture: in “ethnographic” reports from Brazil, printed maps of the Arctic Seas, and miniature sculpture in German Kunstkammern. As a figure who obliterates bodily integrity, the cannibal became a powerful symbol for anxieties about disappearance and the disruption of ordered systems of knowledge. These anxieties manifested themselves in numerous contexts in the seventeenth century, from existentially terrifying expeditions to the New World and to the earth’s polar regions to the pleasurable bewilderments of the Kunstkammer.

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