Mapping, Mercator and Modernity: The Impact of the Digital

Call for Papers:

Workshop 25th-26th April 2017

Venue: Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Schifferstr. 196, 47059 Duisburg

This funded workshop will explore the relationships between mapping, linearity, imaginaries of control and global cooperation. What drives the growing demand for mapping and visualizations of the world? Does this reflect an increased capacity for contestation or of control and regulation or perhaps even a retreat from the world? What is at stake in the fact that maps and visualizations are not the world but leave an irreducible gap? How does the digital transform the politics of maps and mapping?

This workshop is part of a two-day event, including a public forum, the 8th Käte Hamburger Dialogue.

Participants will include:

  • Claudia Aradau, Reader in International Politics, King’s College London
  • David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of
  • Westminster, London
  • Mark Duffield, Emeritus Professor at the Global Insecurities Centre, University of Bristol
  • Anna Feigenbaum, Principal Academic in Digital Storytelling, Faculty of Media and Communication Bournemouth University
  • Ute Schneider, Professor of Social and Economic History, Historical Institute, University Duisburg-Essen (tbc)

The workshop and Dialogue form part of a Mercator project interrogating the transformation of technologies of global cooperation with the questioning of the epistemological and ontological assumptions of modernity. Gerhard Mercator lived in Duisburg for the last 40 years of his life (1552-1594). As a major founder of both the linear time and space of modernity, Mercator is most famous for his world map, the projection of the world in 1569 making straight lines match fixed courses of sail. Intended for mariners’ use, the map became the accepted view of the world despite its famous distortions.

We would be particularly interested in papers including (but not necessarily limited to) the following themes:

* The power and importance of mapping as a technology for understanding, constructing and intervening in the world.

* The impact of the digital on what we understand as mapping in relation to time and space.

* The political possibilities of thinking and mapping otherwise and the implications for global cooperation.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to Elena Simon, by 10 March 2017. Draft papers will be circulated before the workshop with the possibility that we may produce a collective publication.

The workshop is funded by Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Universität Duisburg-Essen so please state if you wish to be considered for funding for transport/accommodation.