This seminar explores the spatial and cartographic turn in the humanities. It rethinks cartography as an inter-discipline and investigates key words such as mapping, space, place, and location across languages, cultures, and historical periods. It provides a forum for faculty, students, and participants to discuss, test, and challenge new research methodologies and theoretical approaches to cartography.

Upcoming Events

Elizabeth Horodowich, New Mexico State University
Alexander Nagel, New York University
Europe and its Amerasian Mirror, 1492-ca. 1700
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 5:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

In most accounts of European explorations and colonizations after 1492, it is assumed that an initial confusion between America and Asia steadily, even swiftly, gave way to the realization that America was a New World. By considering a wide array of texts, maps, objects, and images produced between 1492 and ca. 1700, it becomes possible instead to inhabit a coherent, if malleable, vision of a world where Mexico really was India, North America was an extension of China, and South America was populated by a variety of biblical and Asian sites. Considering the 1558 large-scale printed map by Caspar Vopel and Giovanni Andrea Vavassore held in the Houghton Library, this workshop will explore European representations of the lost vision of Amerasia that dominated the geographical imagination of Europe for two centuries after 1492.

Surekha Davies, John Carter Brown Library Fellow
Knowing with Images: Natural History and Cartography in the Global Renaissance
Monday, April 29, 2019 - 5:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Past Events 2018 - 19

Florin-Stefan Morar, Harvard University
China Translated: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in the Formation of Early Modern World Geography
Zayde Antrim, Trinity College
Mapping at the Margins: Regionalism in Early Arabic Atlases

Past Events 2017 - 18

Elizabeth Mellyn, University of New Hampshire
Ben Tulman, Architectural Designer, Murdough Design
Madness in the City: Changing Practices of Confinement in Europe, 1350-1800
Chet van Duzer, John Carter Brown Library
"With Savage Pictures Fill their Gaps": On Cartographers’ Fears of Blank Spaces
Ayesha Ramachandran, Yale University
Making Universals: Portuguese Manuscript Atlases, 1550-1580

Past Events 2016 - 17

Walter Stephens, Johns Hopkins University
The Old World and the New, ca. 1500: History and Geography Before and After Noah's Flood
Jakub Niedźwiedź, Jagiellonian University
Political Propaganda and the Mapping of the Russian Borderland in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century: Strubicz, Kochanowski, Mercator

Past Events 2015 - 16

Chet Van Duzer, University of Mississippi
The World for a King: Pierre Desceliers' Map of 1550

Past Events 2014 - 15

David Joseph Wrisley, American University of Beirut
Visualizing Medieval French Places: Spatial Information, Scale, and Literary History
Dana Sajdi, Boston College
Contested Landscape: Damascus in Medieval Arabic Descriptions
Benjamin Braude, Boston College
Discontinuous Continents: Rethinking Macrocartography
Timothy Reiss, New York University
Subverting the Renaissance Atlantic: Bird Islands, Zurara, Las Casas, and the Eucharist