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Leonid Chekin: “Svalbard, Paradise and Beyond: The Arctic Islands on Medieval and Early Modern Maps"

  • Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom

Sponsored in partnership with California, Chicago, New York, Philip Lee Phillips, Rocky Mountain, and Texas Map Societies.

Location: Zoom

Time:  7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CT/5:00 pm MT/4:00 pm PT

Title: Svalbard, Paradise and Beyond: The Arctic Islands on Medieval and Early Modern Maps

Speaker:  Leonid S. Chekin, Conference Interpreter for the World Bank Group and Russian Space: Concepts, Practices, Representations working group member at The Arctic University of Norway

Summary: For much of the Middle Ages, the Arctic was inaccessible to most travelers. Cartographers described the circumpolar regions to discuss the story of humanity's salvation or to make connections between the celestial sphere and the globe. In both contexts, theorizations of Arctic islands may have included myths and discoveries such as "Spitsbergen" or "paradise." Attempts to identify these myths and discoveries on a modern map often result in false positive identifications. I will suggest why debunking these identifications is more difficult and time-consuming than proposing a few new (and equally unreliable) ones.

Planning to attend?   

RSVP to John Docktor at to receive the Zoom meeting ID and passcode.

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