New Conf Podcasts: "Mapping Humans: From Body to Cosmos" migrate to the Pulse

We are pleased to announce that the following podcasts, originally produced and hosted by The Berendel Foundation, have now migrated to the Pulse Project, and span most all of the papers presented to the conference:

"Mapping Humans: From Body to Cosmos"

13-15 September 2012, Oxford

Third Annual Conference of the Berendel Foundation, in association with the University of Leicester and the Cantemir Institute at the University of Oxford



Moshe Idel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem):Performing Bodies: From Anatomy to Cosmology, to Theosophy in Jewish Thought

Steven King and Kevin Schürer (University of Leicester):Space, Mapping and Disability in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century England and Wales

Steven J. Taylor (University of Leicester):Space, Asylums and Their Communities

Peter Jones, Steven King, and Ben Harvey (University of Leicester):  Mapping Sentiments Towards the Poor

Patrick Sériot (Université de Lausanne):  ’Mapping Humans’ in Central and Eastern European Ideological Debates: Are Languages Natural Objects?"

Rob Kitchin (National University of Ireland): The Transformation of Cartographic Thought


Conference Abstract:

Due to both the advancement of learning and to the extreme fragmentation of the intellectual, ideological, educational, and research agendas in the social sciences and the humanities, there emerged a need for (the rhetoric, if not the epistemology, of) inter-, trans-, meta-, or post-disciplinarity in order to cover what traditionally constituted integrated or at least closely related objects of study. Cartography is a case in point, as history and geography have grown apart in most school and university curricula. Nevertheless, over the last decade or so, some authors have started to advocate and practice what has been called a spatial turn. As other turns--linguistic, cultural, narrativist, iconic, pictorial, etc.—seem to have exhausted much of their original promise, bringing space back in the focus of research might be helpful in terms of relaunching the dialogue between such disciplines as history, geography, ethnology, cultural anthropology, social psychology, linguistics, literary theory, cultural studies, religious studies, as well as emerging new fields such as medical humanities, etc. And when space and spatiality ‘are back’, maps have to be brought back as well. Maps of all sorts. And all kinds of mappings.

Mapping has become an inflationary term over the last decade or so, possibly because one particular phrase, mental mapping, has caught the imagination of many scholars from various disciplines, and has become a kind of buzz word. It might well be that the adjective, mental, has rescued the noun, mapping, and has brought it to the attention of people who had not been interested in any form of cartography. Ironically, while cognitive studies, the field wherefrom mental was taken, are undergoing a serious (self-)critical scrutiny, mental mapping is thriving. Complex entities such as nations, states, empires, and historical regions (both subnational and transnational), cultures, languages, religions, etc. can only be studied by means of an interactive cluster of simultaneous mappings, ranging from pragmatic, routine, everyday, individual topographies to sacred and symbolic collective geographies, and from premodern  and early modern chorographies to what were called ‘ethnic ontologies’ (worldviews that ascribe to ethnic groups their exclusive time--not just history--, space—not just territory--, Being—not just national character), and to various modern and postmodern cartographies of development, resources, institutions, human activity, inclusion/exclusion, health/illness, income, infrastructures, power, etc. To critically assess all these mappings, traditional and brand new, and to foster an intercultural, trans-disciplinary theory of multiple mapping, in an attempt of locating humans on an intricate nexus of intersecting, interactive spaces, times, and chronotopes, an international conference is convened.

On the basis of the conference proceedings, a collective volume is to be published in the book series, “Reflections on (In)Humanity” (V&R unipress and National Taiwan University Press).



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