Home

In this course, we read, think, and write about maps: how we use them, how we make them, and the power they have to inform, to transform, and to shape how we understand our world. Readings include work on the significance of maps as visual representations of space and the authoritative power they can wield. We also read texts dealing with the history of cartography, as well as some travel literature and geographies, real and imagined. Our questions will explore the assumptions that underlie the making and using of maps. For instance: What gets included on maps? How are they oriented? What gets left out? Who makes the maps? How do maps sustain structures of power? And how and when can they be instruments of change? Students will use the theoretical work we read to create their own critical analyses of maps, and will also think and write analytically about the creation of maps and how maps are used.