Calendar of Events
Sponsored in partnership with the Boston, California, Chicago, New York, Philip Lee Phillips, Rocky Mountain, and Texas Map Societies
Time: 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CT/5:00 pm MT/4:00 pm PT
Title: The Florida Origins of North American Cartography
Speaker: Peter A. Cowdrey, Jr., Archivist, Cognetta Family Trust Collection of Historic Florida Maps, Tallahassee, FL
From tiny, isolated points on the Florida peninsula, the Spanish claim to “La Florida” grew so that by the late 16th century it stretched from the Florida Keys to Virginia and from the Atlantic Coast to the Trans-Mississippi West. Map archivist Peter A. Cowdrey, Jr. will guide participants on an exploration of the beginnings of North American cartography as well as detail the growth and diminution of Spanish Florida. Utilizing the impressive collection of Florida maps spanning multiple centuries from the Cognetta Family Trust Collection, this presentation will feature maps from the early 16th century to the early 1800s.
RSVP to John Docktor at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom meeting ID and passcode.
Title: Indigenous Mapping: Cultural and Psychological Sources
Speaker: Benjamin B. Olshin, retired Professor of Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and Design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia
In cartography and other fields, “scientific thinking” is defined as an analytic and systematic way of observing and interacting with the world. “Analytic” in this context means examining evidence and constructing models of the world based on that evidence. By contrast, what characterizes non-scientific, indigenous cultures is — rather derisively — called “magical thinking,” a belief in structures beyond observable physical reality. This talk will examine how apparently non-scientific thinking (i.e., non-analytic thinking) can nonetheless create sophisticated maps and broader systems of knowledge, with parallels in other traditional systems, such as indigenous medicine. The talk will touch upon the underlying cultural and psychological frameworks that produce indigenous knowledge systems and note that such systems still exist deep within the human psyche everywhere — and may reflect how we truly perceive the world around us.
Title: Papering the Landscape: Maps of Regime Change in North America
Speaker: Barbara Belyea, Professor Emerita of English, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
Barbara Belyea's current project is to study three sets of maps that asserted territorial claims following conquest and expansion by an imperial power. The maps are usually credited with not only registering “new” territory but also improving on previous cartographic concepts and techniques. This presentation will focus on the third set of maps, which document an expedition to Lake Athabasca in northern Saskatchewan and Alberta led by J. Burr Tyrrell of the Geological Survey of Canada. It turns out that Tyrrell was not the first to explore this region.
Title: Seeing Across the World: How Medieval Mapmakers Brought Their Monsters Home
Speaker: Asa Simon Mittman, Professor of Art & Art History, California State University, Chico
“Telesthesia” – perception at a distance – is a key element of medieval cartography. This talk is focused on the Hereford Map, which is the largest and most detailed map to survive from medieval Europe. The talk explores the visual strategies that medieval mapmakers used to create the sense that a viewer safely ensconced in a church in England could see distant peoples throughout the world. It also examines the visual dynamics that seem to allow these supposedly distant peoples to travel across the world, and appear within the “safe” spaces where the maps are housed.
Title: World War II Captured Maps: The Army Map Service and Two University Libraries
Speaker: Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Associate University Librarian for Science and Engineering Resources Group, Stanford Libraries, Stanford University; and Gregory March, Map Librarian, John C. Hodges Library, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
At the end of World War II, U.S. Army officers located large troves of maps in Germany and Japan. These materials were shipped back to the United States and deposited with the Army Map Service (AMS). The AMS created a repository service to distribute the captured maps to libraries across the United States, eventually sending them to a subset of thirty-five geographically dispersed institutions. While numerous libraries processed these materials, many did not, including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who made the decision to donate their maps to Stanford University for cataloging and scanning. In this talk, the speakers will discuss the history of captured maps, their dispensation into each collection, and the partnership to combine the materials at one location.
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