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Rethinking Medieval Maps

Rethinking Medieval Maps I and II, sessions at 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14–17, 2015

Rethinking Medieval Maps I: The Unmapped, Marginalized and Fictitious

This panel is devoted to the cartography of spaces that are far—either geographically or conceptually—from the umbilicus terrae at Jerusalem and the seemingly well-known confines of Europe. Proposals are invited for papers that explore the less privileged aspects of medieval maps: the mapping of the unknown, negative space, and things omitted from maps; the inhabitants of the margins, monsters, and marginalized peoples; and the cartography of the fictitious or counterfactual. While we seek papers that engage closely with the details of the maps themselves, we welcome proposals that highlight new approaches to maps across time and space.

Rethinking Medieval Maps II: Evidence for the Use and Re-Use of Maps

P.D.A. Harvey has written that “Medieval Europe was a society that functioned largely without maps”—and we take this statement as a call for a closer look at how medieval Europeans engaged with maps when they did resort to them. What evidence do we have, either from maps themselves, their contexts, or from textual sources, about how medieval maps were used? What about cases in which maps were designed for one purpose, but employed for another? What do these uses and re-uses tell us about the place of maps in medieval society, and their connection with broader developments in visual or material culture?

Papers are expected to be amply illustrated with high-quality images of the maps discussed.


Posted on Aug 20, 2014 in Calls for Papers

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