This volume seeks to collectively explore how maps can be used to understand the making of European empires, how the epistemological practices embedded in them can be approached to understand European imperial space-making, and how maps can be seen as representations of imaginaries of connectivity.
Rehearsing mapping’s past and its multifarious relations with European imperial orders is not merely an historical exercise to contribute to a global history of cartography. What binds the several interventions is rather an awareness that looking at a particular moment of the past with composite methodologies and interdisciplinary gazes may harbour potential discoveries on the context-embedded relations between mapping, connectivity, and European empire to which we are not yet attuned. By exploring the imaginaries of the world in the mapping of Western modern empires, the book also links to the burgeoning literature on the history of international relations and empire. The emphasis on empires serves here as an important corrigendum for IR’s state centrism and Eurocentrism and contributes to further erode the myth of Westphalia.
Luis Lobo-Guerrero is Professor of History and Theory of International Relations at the University of Groningen.
Laura Lo Presti is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Padova.
Filipe dos Reis is Assistant Professor of Geopolitics and Connectivity at the University of Groningen.
Series Editor’s Note
Preface: Poseidonians and the Tragedy of Mapping European Empires, Luis Lobo-Guerrero
Chapter 1: Mapping and the Making of Imperial European Connectivity, Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Laura Lo Presti and Filipe dos Reis
Chapter 2: Mapping the Invention of the Early ‘Spanish’ Empire, Luis Lobo-Guerrero
Chapter 3: Freezing Cartographic Imaginaries, Jeppe Strandsbjerg
Chapter 4: Surveying in British North America: A Homology of Property and Territory, Kerry Goettlich
Chapter 5: Empires of Science, Science of Empires: Mapping, Centres of Calculation and the Making of Imperial Spaces in Nineteenth Century Germany, Filipe dos Reis
Chapter 6: Representing France’s Syrian “Colony Without a Flag”: Imperial Cartographic Strategies at the Margin of the Peace Conference, Louis Le Douarin
Chapter 7: The Cartographic Lives of the Italian Fascist Empire, Laura Lo Presti
About the Editors and Contributors
This impressive collection of essays offers an important and timely contribution to the study of mapping, empires, and the politics of space, with the novel addition of an explicit focus on connectivity. Particularly useful is the interdisciplinary nature of the volume, given that these issues undoubtedly cross—and bring into question—disciplinary boundaries.
This fascinating follow up to Imaginaries of Connectivity offers an extraordinarily productive focus for further investigation of the problem of connectivity. Focusing on how, by strategically combining disparate elements, various mapping practices contributed to the creation of imperial spaces, Mapping, Connectivity and the Making of European Empires illuminates the role of maps as instruments of power, the complicated relationship between mapping and empire, and how the connectivities that maps depict both reflected European imperial ambitions and provided scaffolding for European imperial rule.
Drawing on a range of cases from the 16th through to the 20th centuries, the contributors remind us that a map is not merely a reflection of power; a map is power. Each chapter reveals how, by constructing the ‘other’ within a system of order, relative difference, connectivity, and circulation, mapping is fundamental to the logic of empire.