Johns Hopkins German Department presents its 2006 Graduate Student Conference
MAPPING NARRATIVES: Excursions in Limbo
Keynote speakers: Tom Conley, Harvard University; John Zilcosky, University of Toronto
date and location: 1. and 2. December, 2006; Baltimore, MD
submission deadline: 31. August, 2006
contact: Anne Flannery, Ellwood Wiggins >>[log in to unmask]<<
Humans desire to know----
where they are.
Whether moving through a new and unfamiliar city, or reading a narrative of fact or fiction, we create aids to locate ourselves in relation to known and familiar spaces. Why do readers and writers rely on visual and geographical tools to navigate their way through the reading or writing of a text? Without the dozens of various charts and cartographic images that scholars and artists have felt compelled to draw of the Inferno, would readers be as lost in the grey limbo of their literary journeys as Dante would have been without Virgil to guide him? What function do the visual aids of maps, diagrams, family trees and tables serve in the reading process, and how does the discursive and temporal unfolding of a narrative relate to these spatial devices of our understanding? How do imagesboth those included by authors and those created by readersrelate to the texts in which they are embedded or on which they are imposed? How do texts not supplied with such visual aids work to create a (more or less concrete) sense of space in reader's imaginations? How does a narrative work to imprint the blueprint of a space with mere words?
Maps, too, can work narratively, as they are often oriented towards describing trajectories through space rather than representing space in the sense of the 'architecture' of landscapes. How do different kinds of maps demand to be visualized? What status do maps, as diagrammatic presentations that are neither solely writing nor images, occupy? Art Historians have done impressive work on the iconography of cartography, and the metaphorics of mapping is a fascinating area of research within cognitive science. The persuasive device of supplementing writing by either actual diagrams or quasi-diagrams evoked through writing has been acknowledged by philosophers, scientists and rhetoricians since Leibniz. The relation of word and image has perplexed thinkers from Euclid to Einstein and from Lessing to Sebald.
With the conference, "Mapping Narratives," we hope to explore some of the issues dealing with excursions (geographical and visual) taken in texts. In order to examine the above questions within a context of fields ranging from cartography and travel writing to cognitive science and psychoanalysis, we would like to invite scholars not only from literary studies, but from a diverse range of disciplines such as geography, sociology, philosophy, history of art and psychology. This topic is one that can only benefit from a wide array of strategies and approaches.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to >>[log in to unmask]<< by 31. August, 2006.
Paper topics include, but are not limited to:
"Fictional" Landscapes and maps
(Mis)representation of place(s)
Organization of space by maps
Organization of space by narrative
Places and Non-places
Psychoanalysis and Dream Landscapes
Spatiality and Discursivity
Maps and texts
Maps as texts
Mapping (Trajectory Maps versus Architecture of Space, i.e
. Chatwin's Songlines as opposed to Nabokov's Zembla)
Cognitive Mapping (Etak principle vs. geological modeling, e.g. Google Earth)
History of Infographics
Graphics and News: the 'USA Today/ CNN' phenomenon
Graphics and Rhetoric: Visible Statistics as Evidence (e.g. powerpoint)
Incorporation of images in Fiction and Non-Fiction
Poetical Figuration of Visualization
Lost and Found
Forgetting and Re-membering
The Quest (X marks the Spot!)
Topologies of Utopias
Questions of genre and images (e.g. Sebald)
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor: Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html