Nick Bauch, Launching Enchanting the Desert, May 16, 2016


Upcoming Events:

Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography

October 19, 2017 - October 21, 2017

For more more information, go to the website here.

Asian Representations and Constructions of Space

Organized by Dan Tuzzeo and with generous support from the Stanford Humanities Center, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford, and the Stanford Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures, History, and Religious Studies the Center will host the Geballe Research Workshop series entitled: Asian Representations and Constructions of Space (ARCS). 

Throughout the academic year ARCS will invite a total of nine scholars from various disciplines to share works in progress concerning geographical, cosmological, and ritual space in historical Asian contexts from ancient and early modern India, China, Japan, and the Himalayas. Speakers will introduce participants to art, architecture, maps, manuscripts, gazetteers, and digital tools that formulate and depict a broad scope of spatial realms.

Fall 2017 Schedule:

October 12, 3pm-5pm

Eric Huntington (Postdoctoral Fellow, Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford): "Frames of Scale and Geo-Spatial Transformations in the Buddhist Maṇḍala"

For more and to register, visit this page.

October 26, 10am-12pm

Jon Felt (Assistant Professor of History, Brigham Young University): "The Empire and the Ecumene: Regionalism After the Han Empire"

For more and to register, visit this page.

November 27, 10am-12pm

Joint session with Kären Wigen (Professor of History, Stanford University) and D. Max Moerman (Professor of Asian & Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University): "Imagining 'Asia': Foreign and Native Worldviews in Constructions of Early Modern Japanese Cartography"

For more and to register, please visit this page.


Time in Space: Representing Time in Maps

November 10, 2017

 “Time in Space: Representing Time in Maps” brings together senior scholars and curators to explore a major challenge for mapmaking: how can time be conveyed through the representation of geographical features? The visual techniques that we take for granted today, such as the stratigraphic map, required deep shifts in how people understood physical space, the passage of time, and aesthetics. Participants represent a broad range of academic backgrounds including geography, history, and art history, and will treat a variety of contexts, from East Asia to Europe to the Americas. This conference will pave the way for an illustrated volume with the University of Chicago Press, the leading publisher in history of science and cartography. Members of the public are warmly invited to participate in the opening session, “Mapping Time,” on the afternoon of Friday, November 10, 2017. Please register here.

For further information, please contact the conference’s graduate coordinator: Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein,

Friday, November 10: Free and Open to the Public

1:15 pm: Welcome and Introduction

Kären Wigen & Caroline Winterer, Stanford University

Mapping Time (1:30-4:30 pm)

1:30-2:15 pm: Lifting the Veil of Time: Maps, Metaphor, and Antiquarianism (17th-18th c.)

Veronica Della Dora, Royal Holloway, University of London

Professor Della Dora explores the metaphor of the veil on maps and their frontispieces between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Images of veils, mantles, and curtains proliferated as the European geographical imagination assimilated the results of exploration and discovery. With the rise of antiquarianism in this same time period, maps themselves become veils shrouding and revealing ancient pasts. Professor Della Dora probes the various cartographic guises of the veil until the early nineteenth century when time itself became, in Schopenhauer’s words, the thinnest veil of all.

2:15-3:00 pm: The Art and Science of Deep Time, 1800-1900

Caroline Winterer, Stanford University

Professor Winterer explores the visual means by which nineteenth-century artists and scientists attempted to explain the new idea of “deep time”: that Earth was not 6,000 years old, as a literal reading of the Bible suggested, but in fact millions of years old. Taking seriously the complaints of deep time’s early advocates that so vast a stretch of time was literally inconceivable to the human mind, she shows how geologists, cognitive scientists, and landscape painters wrestled with the human brain’s apparent incapacity to ponder the very long span of time over which Charles Darwin and others now agreed that it had evolved. Arguing that the problem of visualizing deep time in space spread far beyond mapmaking, she will explore visualizations across a variety of map and non-map media: American maps of geological strata, William James’s diagram of the brain’s “stream of consciousness,” and the lake paintings of the Hudson River School.

3:00-3:45 pm: Mapping Time in the 20th (and 21st) Century

Bill Rankin, Yale University

Professor Rankin rallies a defense of maps’ power to convey time. The rise of digital humanities and spatial history has threatened conventional maps with claims that their 2D nature cannot represent movement. Professor Rankin broadens our temporal vocabulary by examining maps from the last century and a half and their makers’ various strategies for representing time. He shows that the conventional notion of a “static” map actually represents a very narrow type of mapmaking and reframes the issue of cartographic time. The question is not whether a map is “static” or “dynamic,” but how it constructs categories of “timeless” or “historical.” 

3:45-4:30pm : Audience discussion

David Rumsey Map Center Use Guidelines 

Past Events

  • May 20th, 2017, 8.30 am - 9 pm: California Map Society Meeting (One Day Conference, including map talks): Registration and fees. Please visit this page for details.
  • May 4th, 2017, 6 pm: Essay Competition Winner + Richard Brown and Paul Cohen Talk: Free, but registration required. Please Visit this page for details.