Exploring the Four Elements: Toward a Digital Environmental History of the Americas
The exploratory phase of a project to bring a new humanities initiative at the John Carter Brown Library to a much broader public than has traditionally been the case for the Library’s exhibitions and scholarly projects. “Exploring the Four Elements: Toward a Digital Environmental History of the Americas” takes a simple concept -- the cultural significance of earth, air, fire, and water to the diverse populations of the Americas, from the continent’s earliest indigenous inhabitants to the last waves of European scientific explorers at the end of the colonial period -- and examines the ramifications of human engagement with these elements as a window onto changing ecological relationships throughout the pre-contact and early modern periods in the early Americas.
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