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The secret story of the ibirapema: indigenous Brazilians in 16th-century European imagination

1:30pm-2:30pm on Sunday 17 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 26th March. For events on or after 27th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

SG1 (Alison Richard Building), Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DP

Featured in early travel accounts of Brazil, in cabinets of curiosity, in early prints representing ‘America’, and even in a 1569 church monument in Oxfordshire, the Tupi ibirapema came to represent New World exoticism and savagery. In this talk, as we travel across space and time, we will explore the ibirapema’s changing cultural and material value: from deadly weapon, to token of cannibalism, to symbol of dangerous femininity, to online sales item. How can objects like the ibirapema throw light on early cultural exchanges between Europe and the New World? How do they convey the expectations, projections and fears permeating such cultural encounters? And, finally, what meaning to they have for us today?

Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá is Assistant Professor in Portuguese Studies at MMLL in Cambridge. She specializes in comparative studies in Brazilian, Portuguese and English literatures, early colonial Brazil and early modern travel writing. Her research explores sixteenth-century cultural exchanges between Europe and the Americas, with a focus on interactions between England, Portugal and Brazil. Her book The Admirable Adventures and Strange Fortunes of Anthony Knivet: an English Pirate in Brazil (CUP, 2015) is the first annotated edition of one of the earliest accounts of Brazil written by an Englishman.

Booking/Registration is: RECOMMENDED

Additional Information

Age: Adults
Format: Talk
Timing: In person
Cost: Free
Event Capacity: 70
Theme: Society
Accessibility: Full access
Image copyright: from Wikimedia Commons

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