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The Rush of the Orinoco: The English Dream of El Dorado
Wednesday 26th October, 4-5.30pm, in-person (Miller G05, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading) and online (please register below for zoom link)
Reading Latin American and Caribbean network (R-LAC) and the Department of Languages and Cultures Research seminar series are pleased to invite you to a seminar with Dr Tomás Straka, Director of the Research Institute of History, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Caracas. Venezuela.
The current trial in The Hague about Venezuela’s claim of the Essequibo is another inheritance that remains from the old times of the British Empire throughout the world. Whilst Venezuela and Guyana await the verdict of the International Court, many people have started to think about the historical roots of the problem. A long history of all the imperialisms in the Caribbean – Spanish, Dutch, English and American – and slavery is in the background of the Venezuela-Guyana dispute, as well as the Cold War and the oil economy during the last decades. This talk focuses on the intellectual aspect of this process.
Alongside the British penetration in the Orinoco area (Orinoquia in Spanish), among the British developed a real fascination about this area as a realm of two types of utopias: the endless wealth of El Dorado, and the place where Noble Savages live without troubles. From the adventures of Walter Raleigh to the fantastic novel of Arthur Conan Doyle, the British Orinoquia literature was an inspiration to traders, explorers, filibusters, slavers, and poets. Not for nothing the most world-famous novel of the Orinoco is a classic of the English literature: Robinson Crusoe.
To register for zoom link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-rush-of-the-orinoco-the-english-dream-of-el-dorado-tickets-443273913207