Conferencia “Map Literacy and the Cartographical Image, Medieval and Early Modern”

17.00 hrs. Sala María Zambrano 0C9
Por Catherine Delano-Smith (Institute of Historical Research, University of London)
La intervención estará precedida de la clausura del curso con una sesión dedicada a una reflexión sobre los usos de la cartografía medieval (16h.)
Organiza: Sandra Sáenz-López Pérez (IH-CCHS)

Map Literacy and the Cartographical Image, Medieval and Early Modern, by Catherine Delano Smith
Resumen/abstract: It is common to speak of the past as a ‘foreign country’, but rarely are we told exactly which ‘country’ the speaker has in mind. Different times and places in the past are differently peopled and socially and culturally diverse.  So it is with maps from the past; each map represents a different aspect of that ‘foreign country’, and a guide is needed to visit the huge, and often confusing, variety of maps that have come down to us from the ‘countries’ of the past.
Arguably the most accessible guide to a map, and its intended readership and function, is its visual image. In this talk, I shall explore the way the ‘look’ of a map reveals its individuality.  First, I shall distinguish geographies of the ground from geographies of thought. Then I shall go on to consider the lines that make up the cartographical image to see how the way these are deployed tells us something about the nature of  the reader or readers for whom it was originally drawn (its production context), focussing on the extremes of visual simplicity or complexity of the image to make the point. Finally I shall consider the cartographical spectrum of style, content and function (the three essential attributes of any map ) to highlight the individuality of each map.