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Maps and Mapping in English-speaking Countries in the 17th and 18thCenturies
Annual Conference of the SEAA 17-18
Dates : 15-16 January 2021
Venue : Université Paris-Diderot
Keynote Speaker: Max Edelson (University of Virginia)
Maps are multidimensional objects of study that entail scientific, artistic, political, diplomatic, military and economic stakes. On the scientific level, the cartographic techniques and their evolutions are related to the establishment of trades such as cartographers, geographers and land surveyors. Who makes maps, for which purpose and for whom are questions to consider in order to apprehend these documents. Secretly-used maps need to be distinguished from printed and circulated ones. The former are instruments in the hands of governments in the context of peace negotiations and military operations – as was the case for the maps on which the French and the Americans relied during the American Revolutionary War – but also in the context of the exploration and conquest of new territories, among which Northern and Southern America, as well as Africa and India. Most of the time, maps have been made public in books destined to a literate audience, but their degree of accuracy and their level of artistry need to be assessed. It can thus be considered that maps create spaces as much as they reflect them. Maps also circulate as separate objects such as terrestrial globes. This requires to think about the manufacturing of objects and the printing of maps but also to ponder over their commercialization, dissemination, exhibition in curiosity cabinets as well as their circulation in European and American learned societies.
Moreover, it will be necessary to tackle the way cartography and the knowledge and use of geography have transformed the writing of history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but also the way maps were used by writers and historians working on those periods in the centuries that followed. The historiographic discourse on the 17th and 18th centuries evolved in parallel with the progress of geographic and topographic science. These changes are particularly noticeable nowadays as digital tools have renewed the interest in maps as tools and sources of historiographic reflection. Conversely, some databases extracted from registers or other documents have been compiled thanks to digital softwares, enabling to create tools of digital cartography that alter our perception of the past and of History (see for example websites such as Mapping Early American Elections: earlyamericanelections.org, or Slave Voyages:slavevoyages.org). These evolutions of cartography bring with them a redefinition of space(s) as being at the crossroads of power and knowledge.
It is also relevant to tackle the writing of space in the British eighteenth century by studying narrative cartography or the motif of the map inserted within travel narratives, fiction or utopias/dystopias (see for instance the inserted maps that open each of Gulliver’s travels or the one that Thomas More inserts in his Utopia). In fictional texts, the map reinforces realism by its scientific qualities. Defoe and Swift, for example, borrowed maps from Herman Moll, a well-known cartographer at the time, in order to make their narratives appear truthful: the credit attributed to a cartographer was indeed far superior to that given to a writer of fiction. On top of the scientific dimension of maps and of the activity of mapping itself, there has always been art in cartography which can be defined as the art of drawing maps: “the map always involves a particular kind of imagination.” (Palsky, Artistes de la carte, 202) This imagination, which is at the core of the relationship between the map and the oeuvre, may be explored through a study of the decoration of legends or of the blanks of maps that can be filled in with representations of animals, monsters or ships. Reflecting over the articulation of cartographic and literary or aesthetic languages also permits to adopt an interdisciplinary approach of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: geocriticism (Westphal, Tally) or literary cartography (mappingwriting) will help us think about this articulation and the way of mapping fictional texts.
Therefore, this symposium will investigate the influence of cartography in a two-fold approach. Il will assess its influence on the course of History, considering the impact that the perception of geography had on the political, scientific, intellectual and literary history in the 17thand 18th centuries. It will also consider its influence on historiographical science at the time and nowadays, in relation with the development of new historiographical approaches such as atlantic history, global history, the history of material culture and sociabilities, as well as gender and minorities studies.
We especially, but not exclusively, encourage contributions on the following topics and approaches:
- cartography and narrative
- inserting real or fictitious maps within fictional narratives
- the contribution of writers to the geographic culture and the contribution of geography as discipline and as language to the literary production (“crossed fertilization”)
- authenticity and truth of geographic data in literary texts
- the map as vehicle for political sovereignty and as instrument for colonization, notably looking into the role of the Board of Trade
- cartography as a performative act (creation of space, space of creation)
- cartographic materials as aesthetic objects
- the map as real or virtual historiographic object
- authority as vested in cartographers, geographers and surveyors, and the empirical authority of maps (bias, omission, scale)
- the materiality of maps (manufacturing, size, paper, weight, graphic and printing quality)
- the role of the Academies of science
- contour lines, separation lines—delineating geographic abstraction
Paper proposals (300 words and a short CV) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 20, 2020. Acceptance will be notified by beginning of September 2020.
Books and articles:
Richard H. Brown and Paul E. Cohen, Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence 1755-1783. New York: London W.W. Norton et Company, 2015.
Martin Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860. Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 2018.
Eric Bulson, Novels, Maps, Modernity. The Spatial Imagination. 1850-2000. New York & London, Routledge, 2007.
Lucy P. Chester, “The Mapping of Empire: French and British Cartographies of India in the Late-Eighteenth Century”, Portuguese Studies, Vol. 16 (2000), pp. 256-275.
Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence. Harvard University Press, 2017 and website with maps online: http://mapscholar.org/empire/
Matthew H. Edney, Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765–1843. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
Matthew H. Edney, Mary Sponberg Pedley (eds.), The History of Cartography, Volume 4: Cartography in the European Enlightenement. Chicago University Press, 2019.
Jean-Paul Forster, Eighteenth-Century Geography and Representations of Space in English Fiction and Poetry. Berne: Peter Lang, 2013.
John Brian Harley, Paul Laxton, and J.H. Andrews, The New Nature of Maps: Essays in the history of Cartography. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2002.
Catherine Hofmann ed, Artistes de la carte de la renaissance au XXIe siècle. Paris, éditions Autrement, 2012.
Stephen J. Hornsby, Surveyors of Empire: Samuel Holland, J. W. F. Des Barres, and the Making ofThe Atlantic Neptune. Ithaca, N.Y.: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2011.
Christian Jacob, L'Empire des cartes : approche théorique de la cartographie à travers l'histoire. Paris, Bibliothèque Albin Michel, 1992.
Jacques Lévy, ed. A Cartographic Turn. Mapping and the Spatial Challenge in Social Sciences. Routledge, 2016.
Mary Sponberg Pedley, The Commerce of Cartography: Making and Marketing Maps in Eighteenth-century France and England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005
Margaret B. Pritchard and Henry G. Taliaferro, Degrees of Latitude: Mapping Colonial America. Williamsburg, VA: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2002 and digital collection https://www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/degrees-latitude-mapping-colonial-america
John Rennie Short, Cartographic Encounters: Indigenous Peoples and the Exploration of the New World. London: Reaction Books, 2009.
Robert T. Tally, Spatiality. Londres et New York : Routledge, The Critical Idiom, 2013.
Judith A. Tyner, Stitching the World: Embroidered Maps and Women’s Geographical Education. Ashgate, 2015.
Digital humanities projects:
The Grand Tour Travelers Project, Stanford University : https://classics.stanford.edu/projects/grand-tour-project, part of the larger project : Mapping the Republic of Letters : http://republicofletters.stanford.edu/publications/index.html
Mapping Early American Elections : http://earlyamericanelections.org/
Slave Voyages : https://www.slavevoyages.org/
Mapping Writing : https://mappingwriting.com/
Nicholas Gliserman, (forthcoming): Cartography and Empire in Northeastern America, 1580-1760--digital humanities project employing ArcGIS to extract geospatial data from historical maps to analyze the changing colonial landscape.
Paul Sivitz, Billy G. Smith, Philadelphia and Its People in Maps: The 1790s. https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/philadelphia-and-its-people-in-maps-the-1790s/
Peter Barber (Hakluyt Society)
Michael Barritt (Hakluyt Society)
Jim Bennett (Hakluyt Society)
Martin Brückner (University of Delaware)
Yann Calberac (Université de Reims)
Robert Clark (University of East Anglia/Literary Encyclopedia)
Matthew Edney (University of Southern Maine)
Stephen Hornsby (University of Maine)
Mary Pedley (University of Michigan)
Bertrand Van Ruymbeke (Université Paris 8)
Carine Lounissi (Université de Rouen et Université Paris-Diderot, LARCA)
Emmanuelle Peraldo (Université de Nice, CTEL)
Agnès Trouillet (Université Paris III, CREW)
Sophie Vasset (Université Paris-Diderot, LARCA)
Please send your paper proposals to email address email@example.com