[ISHMap-List] Seventh Imago Mundi Prize awarded

Tony Campbell tonycampbellockendon at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 19:38:32 CET 2017

*Seventh Imago Mundi Prize Awarded*

    The Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd are delighted to announce that the
    seventh /Imago Mundi /Prize has been awarded toFederico Ferrettifor
    ‘A new map of the Franco-Brazilian border dispute (1900)’ which
    appeared in /Imago Mundi/ 67:2(2015):229-241. Dr FedericoFerretti is
    a lecturer at the

School of Geography, University College, 
Dublin.federico.ferretti(at)ucd.ie <mailto:federico.ferretti at ucd.ie>

This article is a novel contribution to the history of cartography of 
the early twentieth century in the service of diplomacy between Brazil 
and France over the border between French Guiana and Brazil. The border 
dispute was arbitrated by Swiss scholars in 1900. The author examines 
the political usefulness of maps in such deliberations and also provides 
evidence of the challenge some geographers made to the prevailing 
European view of imperialism and colonialismof the time. As such the 
discussion broadens our understanding of the role of maps and their 
makers in Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; it 
draws attention to their use in a more subversive role rather than in 
exemplifying the power of the state.

The author focusses on a newly discovered map drawn by the explorer 
Henri Coudreau (1859-1899) and given by him to the geographer Elisée 
Reclus (1830-1905) which has been recently discovered in the Public 
Library in Geneva amongst Reclus’s maps. The author has carefully 
investigated the extensive Reclus archive there and also other archives 
and collections, including those of the Swiss Federal Council relevant 
to the Border dispute. He has argued lucidly and convincingly, based on 
his examination of the maps, archives and personal papers, that the 
Coudreau map of Brazil was critical to establishing the boundary between 
Brazil and French Guiana to the satisfaction of the Brazilians. Although 
both Coudreau and Reclus were French, their attitudes were anti-colonial 
as is evident from Reclus’s writings on French Guiana and thus they did 
not follow the expected government line. The author points out that the 
same could be said of some contemporary cartographers in Eastern Europe 
who promoted, by their mapping, the idea of nationhood rather than the 
political /status quo/ - as being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The author widens the discussion to consider more fully the wider 
purpose of the history of cartography and concludes that it is essential 
to take account not only of the production of maps but also the context 
of the maps concerned and the uses to which maps were put, which in this 
case was demonstrating Coudreau’s and Reclus’s sympathies and attitudes 
and their challenge to the French colonial view.

The prize is offered every two years. This award covered Volumes 67 
(2015) and 68 (2016). The winning article is the one judged ‘to have 
made the most significant contribution to the discipline’. Only 
full-length articles, which are automatically subjected to the 
(anonymous) external refereeing process before acceptance for 
publication, are eligible for the prize.

The prize is $1000 and qualifies for a J. B. Harley Travel Award to the 
biennial International Conference on the History of Cartography (Belo 
Horizonte, Brazil, 9-14 July 2017 - http://www.ichc2017.ufmg.br/).

The Imago Mundi Prize is generously sponsored by Kenneth Nebenzahl.

By courtesy of our publishers, Routledge Journals (Taylor & Francis), 
the Ferretti article will in due course be made available free of charge 
at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rimu20/current

Tony Campbell

Chairman, Imago Mundi Ltd

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