[ISHMap-List] ICHC -- Brazil, 2017 -- "Theoretical Aspects of the History of Cartography: Twenty Years Later"

Ed Dahl ed.dahl at sympatico.ca
Sun Oct 9 21:29:01 CEST 2016

Below is a draft of a proposal for a special session André Reyes  
Novaes and I plan to submit to the conference planning committee on  
October 15th.
If you wish to be a commentator at the session, please let us know and  
we will attempt to get the papers to you in advance of the session.
We also welcome your comments and suggestions.
        All the best, André and Ed

Session proposal: "Theoretical Aspects of the History of Cartography:  
Twenty Years Later"
Organizers: André Reyes Novaes and Ed Dahl

27th International Conference on the History of Cartography -- Belo  
Horizonte, 9-14 July 2017

For the 16th International Conference on the History of Cartography,  
held in Vienna in 1995, Ed Dahl had invited three colleagues --  
Matthew Edney, Christian Jacob, and Catherine Delano Smith -- to  
present papers in a special session focusing on theory in the history  
of cartography. He stated that "the theoretical aspect of our work in  
the history of cartography has remained an underemphasized and  
underdeveloped area” (Imago Mundi, 1996:185). The three papers along  
with five selected comments were published in Imago Mundi in 1996 and  
the debate continued to circulate in various academic venues. Its  
enthusiastic reception and its resonance suggest the need for further  
discussions on theory in the history of cartography.
Now, more than two decades after the 1995 session, we propose to  
revisit this matter at the 27th International Conference on the  
History of Cartography in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. What has happened in  
the intervening decades? What new issues and theories are important  
for a contemporary debate? What trends in history and social sciences  
could be part of new theoretical approaches to the history of  

As Matthew Edney pointed out in his paper, "theories lie at the root  
of all empirical study, whether or not they are acknowledged." Thus,  
the central question is not whether we should be more or less  
theoretical, but which theories we should examine. This special  
session intends to explore intellectual influences from different  
academic venues. Cognitive sciences, visual anthropology, anthropology  
of knowledge, history of art, more-than-representational theory, micro- 
history, and visual culture are just some of trends that we can  
identify today.

The published proceedings of the session in Vienna may be  
unrepresentative of the sub-discipline as a whole because the  
participants were mainly English speakers. In future conferences, Dahl  
wrote, the debate "must be accessible to all who wish to participate,  
irrespective of language" (Dahl, Imago Mundi 1996:203). For the  
session in Belo Horizonte, we plan to explore ways to make the  
discussion more accessible to attendees whose first language is not  

Three speakers have already agreed to make presentations: Christian  
Jacob, Carla Lois, and André Reyes Novaes.

In this announcement, we would like to invite other colleagues to  
offer renewed reflections briefly as commentators at the session. We  
welcome your contribution, aware that the promotion and the  
internationalization of the history of cartography as a field of study  
requires new perspectives on old debates.
Please feel free to contact us by October 15th, but also later:
	André Reyes Novaes  < andrereyesnovaes at gmail.com >
	Ed Dahl < ed.dahl at sympatico.ca >

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