Autocartography:  Mapping the Self Richard Smyth, Ph.D. Invent-L Conference 2007:  Imaging Place University of Florida 24 ...
Autocartography:  Introduction <ul><li>An “Autocartography” is a composition which uses map-making strategies to write one...
Autocartography:  Introduction <ul><li>Because medieval maps, or “mappae mundi” (maps of the world) make no attempt at rep...
Medieval Mappae Mundi <ul><li>“ The great elaborated  mappae mundi  located the events of spiritual history—the Fall, Inca...
Medieval Mappa Mundi <ul><li>“The construction of a world map in the middle ages was a literary and a theological exercise...
Examples of Medieval Mappa Mundi <ul><li>The Psalter Map (c.1250) </li></ul><ul><li>Hereford Mappa Mundi (c. 1300) </li></...
I.  Psalter Map c.1250 <ul><li>“ It is among the earliest maps to place Jerusalem firmly at the centre of the world. . . a...
Psalter Map
 
Psalter Map: detail of Gog & Magog
Psalter Map:  detail of the monstrous races of Africa
II. Hereford Mappa Mundi c.1300 <ul><li>“ . . . it is no less than an intellectual world-picture, where history and theolo...
Hereford Mappa Mundi
Hereford Mappa Mundi <ul><li>“ The biblical lands are given a relatively large area, reflecting their importance to the me...
Hereford Mappa Mundi:  details
III.  Genoese World Map 1457 <ul><li>“ The map retains the character of a visual encyclopedia, derived from the  mappae mu...
Genoese Map of the World
IV.  Rudimentum Novitiorum 1475 <ul><li>“An unusual feature of the map is the stylized symbol of a hill or mountain used t...
Rudimentum Novitiorum
Rudimentum Novitiorum <ul><li>“Several mythological emblems are drawn:  the phoenix, a devil or cannibal, and the tree of ...
V.  Jain Chart of the World (15 th  C.) <ul><li>“ [The] deliberate symmetry makes it clear that, although the chart makes ...
Jain Chart of the World <ul><li>The map is centred on Mount Meru (also sacred to the Hindus). . . </li></ul><ul><li>The sy...
Jain Chart of the World <ul><li>“ Comparison of this map with the near-contemporary western  mappae mundi  throws into sha...
Autocartography:  Orientation <ul><li>Think of your self as a place, a space, a geography to be mapped. </li></ul><ul><li>...
Autocartography: Orientation <ul><li>The medium in which you compose your auto-cartography is up to you.  </li></ul><ul><l...
Autocartography:  Orientation <ul><li>Remember that juxtaposition will be a primary mode of execution.  Like the medieval ...
Journaling Questions:  Spirituality <ul><li>What are the events of your spiritual history? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some...
Journaling Questions:  Stories <ul><li>What are the monsters that inhabit your margins and outer regions? </li></ul><ul><l...
Journaling Questions:  Histories <ul><li>Who are the historical figures to whom you are drawn? </li></ul><ul><li>What hist...
Journaling Questions:  Places <ul><li>What places have you lived?  How did they contribute to your psychic geography? </li...
Autocartography is Mystory “ Mystory is a holistic practice, designed as a way to compose in four (more or less) discourse...
Citations <ul><li>Ulmer, Gregory L.  Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy.  New York: Longman, 2003. </li></ul><...
Contact <ul><li>Richard Smyth, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.anabiosispress.org/rsm...
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Autocartography: Mapping the Self

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introduces a new genre of electrate composition or image-writing which utilizes medieval map-making practices as a way to write about one's self.

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  • Autocartography: Mapping the Self

    1. 1. Autocartography: Mapping the Self Richard Smyth, Ph.D. Invent-L Conference 2007: Imaging Place University of Florida 24 February 2007
    2. 2. Autocartography: Introduction <ul><li>An “Autocartography” is a composition which uses map-making strategies to write one’s autobiography. </li></ul><ul><li>No map is an objective represen-tation of reality but incorporates personal and cultural subjectivity </li></ul>
    3. 3. Autocartography: Introduction <ul><li>Because medieval maps, or “mappae mundi” (maps of the world) make no attempt at representing the real world, they are perfect models for autocarto-graphic writing. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Medieval Mappae Mundi <ul><li>“ The great elaborated mappae mundi located the events of spiritual history—the Fall, Incarnation, Judgment—alongside London and Paris, Egypt and Greece. The inhabited world of man interlocked with other spheres of existence—that of spiritual history, that of the past, and that of the miraculous, beyond the borders of civilization” (Whitfield 14). </li></ul>
    5. 5. Medieval Mappa Mundi <ul><li>“The construction of a world map in the middle ages was a literary and a theological exercise, not a geo-graphical one” (Whitfield 14). </li></ul>
    6. 6. Examples of Medieval Mappa Mundi <ul><li>The Psalter Map (c.1250) </li></ul><ul><li>Hereford Mappa Mundi (c. 1300) </li></ul><ul><li>Genoese World Map (1457) </li></ul><ul><li>Rudimentum Novitiorum (1475) </li></ul><ul><li>Jain Chart of the World (15 th C.) </li></ul>
    7. 7. I. Psalter Map c.1250 <ul><li>“ It is among the earliest maps to place Jerusalem firmly at the centre of the world. . . among the earliest to depict visually Biblical events such as Noah’s Ark, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the walls imprisoning Gog and Magog. . .” (Whitfield 18). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Psalter Map
    9. 10. Psalter Map: detail of Gog & Magog
    10. 11. Psalter Map: detail of the monstrous races of Africa
    11. 12. II. Hereford Mappa Mundi c.1300 <ul><li>“ . . . it is no less than an intellectual world-picture, where history and theology are projected onto an image of the physical world. The great cosmic events of past and future—the fall of man, the crucifixion, the apocalypse—are located in the real, inhabited world, alongside London and Paris, Spain and Egypt” (Whitfield 20). </li></ul>
    12. 13. Hereford Mappa Mundi
    13. 14. Hereford Mappa Mundi <ul><li>“ The biblical lands are given a relatively large area, reflecting their importance to the medieval mind, and many biblical scenes and cities are shown. The peripheral vignettes—the sphinx, the mandrake, the pelican, the cannibals—are perhaps the map’s most striking feature. . . . They represent a stratum of medieval lore and belief which appeared repeatedly in literature and art” (whitfield 20). </li></ul>
    14. 15. Hereford Mappa Mundi: details
    15. 16. III. Genoese World Map 1457 <ul><li>“ The map retains the character of a visual encyclopedia, derived from the mappae mundi showing real or mythical figures all over the world, although the religious theme is now completely replaced by secular history and legend: the emperor of China, warring pygmies, mermaids, Prester John, and so on” (Whitfield 40). </li></ul>
    16. 17. Genoese Map of the World
    17. 18. IV. Rudimentum Novitiorum 1475 <ul><li>“An unusual feature of the map is the stylized symbol of a hill or mountain used to represent each country. The positioning of these country symbols is quite eccentric: Flanders appears east of Spain, Iceland is adjacent to Portugal, while Greece is north of Rome” (Whitfield 34). </li></ul>
    18. 19. Rudimentum Novitiorum
    19. 20. Rudimentum Novitiorum <ul><li>“Several mythological emblems are drawn: the phoenix, a devil or cannibal, and the tree of the sun and moon. The image of paradise is puzzling in that the two figures both holding branches of the tree of knowledge appear to be both men, instead of Adam and Eve” </li></ul><ul><li>(Whitfield 34). </li></ul>
    20. 21. V. Jain Chart of the World (15 th C.) <ul><li>“ [The] deliberate symmetry makes it clear that, although the chart makes use of some features from real geography, such as rivers and mountains, the structure of the whole is not intended to be repre-sentational” (Whitfield 30). </li></ul>
    21. 22. Jain Chart of the World <ul><li>The map is centred on Mount Meru (also sacred to the Hindus). . . </li></ul><ul><li>The symmetry of the map and its repetitive pattern suggest that it was an aid to contemplation. </li></ul><ul><li>The non-representational map becomes a religious icon, and the image of the world becomes unworldly in its purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>(Whitfield 30) </li></ul>
    22. 23. Jain Chart of the World <ul><li>“ Comparison of this map with the near-contemporary western mappae mundi throws into sharp relief the western preoccupation with information, with authority, with cultural accumulation and plenitude. This Indian map mirrors just as certainly the religious psyche from which it sprang, but this time ascetic, contem-plative, and reductive” </li></ul><ul><li>(Whitfield 30). </li></ul>
    23. 24. Autocartography: Orientation <ul><li>Think of your self as a place, a space, a geography to be mapped. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of this as a way to map your sacred and psychic geography. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of this as a way to gather together the stories, both real and imaginary, that define who you are. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of this as an assemblage of stories, anecdotes, myths, legends, personal and cultural history. </li></ul>
    24. 25. Autocartography: Orientation <ul><li>The medium in which you compose your auto-cartography is up to you. </li></ul><ul><li>It could be purely visual, as in a real map. But for those who are not artists, it could be purely written. Or it could be a combi-nation of the two, a multi-media collage. </li></ul>
    25. 26. Autocartography: Orientation <ul><li>Remember that juxtaposition will be a primary mode of execution. Like the medieval mappae mundi , you can juxtapose real places with sacred places (or “chora”) and inhabit them with real people from your past as well as mythic and heroic figures that define who you are or have been. </li></ul><ul><li>You can write in fragments. There is no need to have a continuous flow as in traditional writing. Juxtapose the fragments in artful and meaningful ways. </li></ul>
    26. 27. Journaling Questions: Spirituality <ul><li>What are the events of your spiritual history? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some sacred stories that resonate with you—from both Christian and other traditions? </li></ul><ul><li>What or where is your spiritual center? </li></ul>
    27. 28. Journaling Questions: Stories <ul><li>What are the monsters that inhabit your margins and outer regions? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the “great cosmic events” of your life? The “stepping stones”? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the myths, legends, fairy tales and heroes that inhabit your imagination? </li></ul>
    28. 29. Journaling Questions: Histories <ul><li>Who are the historical figures to whom you are drawn? </li></ul><ul><li>What historical periods most interest you? Why do you think this is? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there stories in your family history that resonate with you? </li></ul>
    29. 30. Journaling Questions: Places <ul><li>What places have you lived? How did they contribute to your psychic geography? </li></ul><ul><li>If you didn’t have to worry about accuracy or spatial representation, how would you situate these places in your psychic geography? </li></ul>
    30. 31. Autocartography is Mystory “ Mystory is a holistic practice, designed as a way to compose in four (more or less) discourses. It is a cognitive map of its maker’s ‘psychogeography’” (Ulmer 81, emphasis mine)
    31. 32. Citations <ul><li>Ulmer, Gregory L. Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Longman, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Whitfield, Peter. The Image of the World: Twenty Centuries of World Maps. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1994. </li></ul>
    32. 33. Contact <ul><li>Richard Smyth, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.anabiosispress.org/rsmyth </li></ul>

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