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“CEMS ANU online Seminar, Professor Katherine Ibbett, “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi.”

“CEMS ANU online Seminar, Professor Katherine Ibbett, “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi,” Monday, September 19, 6 pm AEST.

Katherine Ibbett, Professor of French at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College will present “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi” at the CEMS ANU Seminar, followed by a Q&A discussion. Full abstract here.

Details: Monday September 19, 9:00 am (Oxford); 6:00pm (Canberra); 4:00am (NY).

Register: On Eventbrite to receive your Zoom link. “

This paper will investigate the published writing that emerges from two late seventeenth-century attempts, led by La Salle, to claim the Mississippi river for France. Multiple and competing first-person accounts of these ventures were published in France over a thirty -year period. Historical accounts of the La Salle expeditions have dismissed the printed accounts of these journeys as misleading and mendacious. I want instead to take seriously the deltas of this work, imagining it as a form of writing that emerges from a river that Europeans found to be bewildering.

Katherine Ibbett is Professor of French at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College. Most recently she is the author of Compassion’s Edge: Fellow-Feeling and its Limits in Early Modern France (Penn, 2018) and the co-editor of Compassion in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Feeling and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2021). This last year she has been working on Liquid Empire, a book about seventeenth-century French rivers, supported by a Leverhulme fellowship.

This event is presented by the Centre for Early Modern Studies