Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography

At the David Rumsey Map Center 

Thursday, October 10th through Saturday, October 12th, 2019



Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography 2019: Gender, Sexuality, Cartography

The second biennial Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography will take place October 10-12, 2019. Following on from our successful first conference in 2017, the three-day event will include a keynote, research papers from a variety of scholars, and an exhibition that will debut at the event.

For this year’s meeting, all the papers will focus on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and cartography. While some scholars have examined the interplay of gender identities and mapping, particularly with regard to the role of women as buyers and sellers in the historical map market, this work remains isolated and has yet to make a significant impact on the wider field. This conference hopes to offer a counterpoint to this trend by bringing together diverse approaches and hosting interdisciplinary discussions.

While all the invited speakers are experts in maps and mapping, they will also bring their specialties in queer, women’s, and gender studies to bear on the nuanced ways in which maps are conditioned by and help to construct, and transgress, gendered and sexualized norms and spaces. Paper topics include mapping masculinity in French Vietnam, women in American cartographic history, the gendered cartographic language of medieval texts, the digital mapping of homosexual spaces, and much more.

Our keynote speaker is Professor Susan Schulten, from the University of Denver. She will share her research on the pioneering female mapmaker Emma Willard. As a special bonus, the conference will also host an artists’ roundtable in which artists and activists will discuss maps as a medium for the visual expression of place, gender, and sexuality.


The conference is being made possible by the generous support of Barry Lawrence Ruderman. Barry Lawrence Ruderman is a map and atlas dealer based in La Jolla, California, and one of the Founding Friends of the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford.  His website,, is one of the oldest and largest for the sale of antique maps and atlases. Since 2009, Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc. has contributed over 50,000 digital map images to be placed in the Stanford Digital Repository. To begin with, about 20,000 of these maps can be searched, viewed and downloaded through Stanford's catalog as part of the Barry Lawrence Ruderman Collection; the collection will be unveiled when the conference opens. Barry supports the conference's unique take on rare maps and atlases as objects of scholarly study and spatial thinking within the larger context of interdisciplinary work done at Stanford and elsewhere. 

To join our mailing list, please e-mail To receive our monthly newsletter please sign up here. Registration will open in April 2019. There will be a regular and a concession fee. All registered attendees will have access to the opening reception and keynote, all the speaker panels, the conference exhibition, and coffee/tea throughout the three-day event. Activities will take place at the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University’s Cecil H. Green Library.

The conference is being co-organized by G. Salim Mohammed (David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries), Dr. Katherine Parker (Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.) 

If you have any questions, please contact


Using the Center

The David Rumsey Map Center asks that you observe the following guidelines during the conference:

  • Water is welcome in closed containers only.
  • No food or other drinks are allowed.
  • We will provide pencils and writing paper.
  • We welcome cell phones and laptops.
  • Restrooms and water fountains are located on the third and second floors below the Center.
  • Photography of the space and objects are allowed. 

For more, please visit our using the center page.