Lines of Geography in Latin American Narrative

National Territory, National Literature

  • Aarti Smith Madan

Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Aarti Smith Madan
    Pages 1-28
  3. Aarti Smith Madan
    Pages 249-259
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 261-291

About this book


This book looks to the writings of prolific statesmen like D.F. Sarmiento, Estanislao Zeballos, and Euclides da Cunha to unearth the literary and political roots of the discipline of geography in nineteenth-century Latin America. Tracing the simultaneous rise of text-writing, map-making, and institution-building, it offers new insight into how nations consolidated their territories. Beginning with the titanic figures of Strabo and Humboldt, it rereads foundational works like Facundo and Os sertões as examples of a recognizably geographical discourse.  The book digs into lesser-studied bulletins, correspondence, and essays to tell the story of how three statesmen became literary stars while spearheading Latin America’s first geographic institutes, which sought to delineate the newly independent states. Through a fresh pairing of literary analysis and institutional history, it reveals that words and maps—literature and geography—marched in lockstep to shape national territories, identities, and narratives.


Cultural production Old World New World Border Empire

Authors and affiliations

  • Aarti Smith Madan
    • 1
  1. 1.Worcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcesterUSA

Bibliographic information