Symposium: The Art and Architecture of Mapping: Visual and Material Approaches to Cartographic Objects (The Courtauld)

Date of event:   20/06/2023 − 21/06/2023

Title: The Art and Architecture of Mapping: Visual and Material Approaches to Cartographic Objects
Duration: 20–21 June 2023
Time: 9:00am – 18:00pm BST (day 1); 9:00am – 13:00pm BST (day 2)
Organized by: The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK

Despite the attentions of cultural historians since the 1980s, maps still tend to escape close and critical study as fundamentally visual and material forms of communication, with histories of cartography remaining predominantly disconnected from these dimensions of the subject matter. This two-day symposium addresses this interdisciplinary challenge from a diverse range of perspectives that foreground such questions as: how do maps operate as representations, and how do culturally situated understandings of space shape how they are created, seen and read? How does the study of maps within specific historical or cultural contexts connect to broader issues in visual/material history? In what ways are coloniality and/or indigeneity made visible/material in maps? How can art-historical approaches inform other disciplinary analyses and uses of maps? Invited speakers will offer new perspectives through studies of cartographic objects from around the world, from early modern India, Iran, and China to the Atlantic world and contemporary South Africa.

Organised by Emily Mann (Bartlett School of Architecture) & Stephen Whiteman (The Courtauld)


  • Zoltan Biedermann, Department of History, University College, London
  • Alexandria Brown-Hejazi, Department of Art History, Stanford University
  • Tristan Brown, Department of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Chanchal Dadlani, Department of Art History, Pomona College
  • Georges Farhat, Daniels School of Architecture, University of Toronto
  • Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, Department of Art History, Emory University
  • Çiğdem Kafescioğlu, Department of History, Boğaziçi University
  • Olanrewaju Lasisi, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
  • Emily Mann, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College, London
  • Matthew Francis Rarey, Department of Art History, Oberlin College
  • Rose Marie San Juan, Department of History of Art, University College, London
  • Samira Sheikh, Department of History, Vanderbilt University
  • Stephen H. Whiteman, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

Presented with support from the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Bartlett School of Architecture.

For more information, please visit the website here.