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    Picturing Mato Grosso: The Royal Society and Royal Geographic Society Xavantina Cachimbo expedition 1967-69

    Gancho Fontoura, Catarina (2023) Picturing Mato Grosso: The Royal Society and Royal Geographic Society Xavantina Cachimbo expedition 1967-69. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis explores the archival collections linked to the Xavantina-Cachimbo expedition to Mato Grosso, Central Brazil, from 1967-69. It focuses primarily on the collection of the expedition leader, Iain Bishop, donated to the Royal Society by his family in 2008. Drawing on photographs, films, fieldwork notebooks, papers and published materials, the thesis examines the role of photography and film in expeditionary science in the mid-twentieth century using lens-based media as a tool to approach emergent issues in expeditionary science archival collections. Engaging with cataloguing for narrative recovery, embedded literature review and critical analysis, the thesis aims to investigate and understand fieldwork science paradigms in their complexity. In eight chapters, the thesis explores the blended association between imperialist and postcolonial ways of thinking in twentieth-century expeditionary science; the intersections between the autobiographical and institutional in the archive; the boundaries between private and public, domestic, and wild; the balances between marginal and dominant narrative-making; and the blended transitions between ways of publicising and communicating expeditionary science in the mid-twentieth century. The geographical location of base camp, situated in the cerrado, the ecological border between dry forest and campo, a dramatic-looking shift between arboreal and savanna ecosystems, is employed as a useful metaphor for the findings of this research project: using the research areas above as navigation guidelines, I explore and highlight borders and boundaries as a consistent theme which emerges through the collection. Finally, this thesis invites a mission to further uncover the collective nature of expeditionary fieldwork, making visible the work of marginal collaborators, and presenting the argument that the second half of the twentieth century saw a transitional and blended approach to thinking about and communicating fieldwork and expeditionary science, from scientific institutions, the media, and scientists themselves. The thesis further concludes that, at this time, borders, and boundaries between previously established social and scientific canons began to blur and productively collapse.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 15:22
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 16:03


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