The Maps and Society lecture series has been obliged to go online by the pandemic. Hosted by the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, they were normally something you could attend if you happened to be in London; but for this academic year, you can attend via Zoom (free registration required). [Tony Campbell]
The Limits to Mapping
“The Limits to Mapping,” a talk Matthew Edney gave at Yale University last week as part of the Franke Program series of lectures, is now available on YouTube.
Edney, who’s Osher Professor in the History of Cartography at the University of Southern Maine and the director of the History of Cartography Project (his name’s come up before), also has a new book coming out next year: Cartography: The Ideal and Its History (University of Chicago Press) is apparently an argument about how problematic cartography as an all-encompassing concept is, which ought to make for an interesting read.
Mapping the Borders
Mapping the Borders, a series of talks, exhibitions and workshops hosted by the University of Sunderland from 18 to 25 November as part of this year’s Being Human festival, includes an art exhibition, a workshop on glass mapmaking, a full day of activities on the 19th, and a number of pop-up talks. [NLS]
Hennig and Dorling on ‘Seven New Maps of the World’
“Seven New Maps of the World,” a presentation by Benjamin Hennig (Views of the World) and Danny Dorling (People and Places), both renowned cartogrammers, will take place on the opening weekend of the Oxfordshire Science Festival Sunday, 26 June 2016 at 1 PM, at the Story Museum, Pembroke Street, Oxford. Tickets £5. [Benjamin Hennig]
Update, 20 June: And here are the seven maps in question.
Don’t Make a Map
Martin Burch, data developer for the Wall Street Journal, has posted his presentation from the GeoJourNews 2016 conference. Called “Don’t Make a Map,” it explores situations where presenting your data in the form of a map is actually a bad idea, and looks at some better alternatives. “Always make a map,” he concludes, “but don’t always publish it.” Very much in the vein of similar pieces by Darla Cameron (of the Washington Post) and Matthew Ericson (of the New York Times). [Carla Astudillo]
Previously: The End of Maps in Seven Charts.
‘I Have Been Paid to Do a Hobby’
On 12 May map dealer Jonathan Potter gave a talk for the Maps and Society lectures at the Warburg Institute. A précis of that talk, “A Map Dealer’s Reflections on the Last Forty-Five Years,” is now available online. [WMS]
Map as Metaphor
Map as Metaphor is the theme for this year’s History of Art series, hosted by the New York-based Center for Book Arts. Starting tomorrow and running on three consecutive Friday evenings, a series of panels will investigate “how the map can be understood as a metaphor, both as material artifact and cultural object as well as an artistic tool”: The Socio-Political Map: Control and Power (18 March); The Eco-Techno Map: Data and Online Initiatives (25 March); and The Artist Map: Appropriation and Creation (1 April). Each panel takes place at the Center for Book Arts, 28 W 27th St, 3rd Floor, New York, and begins at 6:30 PM. Reservations recommended; donations requested. [via]
The Social Life of Maps
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Elizabeth Mosier reports on a talk last Saturday by University of Delaware English professor Martin Brückner. “Using images from the exhibit he curated at Winterthur Museum (viewable online at http://commondestinations.winterthur.org), Brückner traced maps from production to purchase to public display and personal use, as they became fashionable objects in the period before and after the Revolutionary War,” Mosier writes.
In the 18th century, maps were everywhere: advertised with luxury goods in catalogs and with necessities in the newspaper, displayed in taverns and town halls and high-traffic areas in private homes, printed on parlor screens and ceramics and neckties—“cartifacts” serving no cartographic purpose. If political conflict built the market for maps, the cartouche—or decorative map title—refined it, adding beauty to the criteria for determining a map’s value. The brisk business in maps for navigating and decorating redefined what constituted their usefulness, in material and social terms. Owning a map meant economic status, educational achievement, and national identity; showing a map showed you belonged.
This is the “performative function” of maps, to create reality by plotting it.
Brückner is the author or editor of several books on the subject of the social history of maps in early America, including The Geographic Revolution in Early America: Early Maps, Literacy, and National Identity (UNC Press, 2006). I should really check his work (and Susan Schulten’s) out; my own graduate work was going to be on the social function of music, so the social function of maps is relevant to my interests for more than one reason. [via]
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