Please join the Visual Culture Workshop for the presentation and discussion of a work-in-progress:

Grounds of Abstraction:

Maps, Grids, and the Spatialization of Thought

Valerie Traub

Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of English and Women’s Studies
University of Michigan

http://historycompass.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/800px-ortelius_1592_ireland_map.jpg

3222 Angell Hall
Wednesday December 7, 12:30-2pm
Lunch will be served
Please rsvp to: klennard@umich.edu

“My presentation analyzes the styles of reasoning enabled by early modern Western European maps, as well as the styles of reasoning that we use to understand them. Since the influential work of Michel de Certeau, the “habits of mind” associated with cartography have been represented through provocative distillations that take as axiomatic the correspondence of maps to disciplinary power. As useful as this scholarship has been, its ubiquitous dissemination has not been without costs. In appropriating the indexical qualities of maps to emblematize disciplinary power, we have retrospectively reified precisely the intellectual and social processes that require explanation. It is not, as Certeau would have it, that all early modern maps forget their means of production, but that in assuming maps to be emblems of totalization, we have forgotten their histories of inscription as well as their productive futurity.”

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