CFP: The Art of Mapping an Ever-Expanding World

Submission deadline: December 31, 2023

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JoLMA  - The Journal for the Philosophy of Language, Mind and the Arts (5 | 1 | 2024)


Editor: Francesco Ragazzi

Invited contributors:

Tarek Elhaik, UC Davis

Elin Kristine Haugdal, Arctic University of Norway;

Elizabeth Povinelli, Columbia University;

Domenico Quaranta, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore / Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera;

Marcello Tanca, Università degli Studi di Cagliari;

Julia Tanney, independent researcher;

Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, UC Santa Cuz

Cartography is made possible through the mastery of an entirely unique set of technical skills. In the creation of maps, scientific knowledge related to mathematics and physics combines with knowledge specific to graphic or artistic disciplines, such as theories of colors and data visualization, among others. Furthermore, while pure sciences are typically responsible for establishing general laws that define cause-effect relationships, the cartographic discipline finds its purpose in describing spatio-temporal ratios. Lastly, although maps strive for objective representation of data, this objectivity is constructed through a process of selecting relevant elements, which always reveals the influence of specific cultural or even political viewpoints.

Being scientific, cultural, and political tools all at once, maps are fascinating objects that invite philosophical exploration. First, they pose a problem of representation: what data should be included, and how should this data be visually presented? If the Modern era has been characterized by a proliferation of cartographical methods, thinkers such as Frédérique Aït-Touati and Bruno Latour have recently claimed that, in the era of Anthropocene awareness, it is necessary to move beyond the grid of Cartesian information. Space should no longer be conceived as a mere receptacle for living things, Aït-Touati suggests, but rather as the result of their actions.

Second, maps give rise to ontological questions that hold political significance, as they deal with the status of territorial entities such as regions, nations, etc. Particularly in a post-colonial world, different cartographies may identify the same piece of land, often leading to conflicts. Consequently, maps have been utilized as both surveillance technologies and counter-culture devices, both within and outside the realm of art.

Third, notions pertaining to cartography have been increasingly applied to domains unrelated to the ordinary objects of geography. For instance, Sigmund Freud's topographic theory was one of the earliest contemporary attempts to map the human mind; Aby Warburg arranged images in an Atlas to demonstrate the persistence of ancient iconography in Western culture; and Gilbert Ryle argued that philosophy itself should be viewed as a kind of conceptual cartography.

Based on these premises, this issue of the journal intends to bring together the following: 1) essays on maps as an art form or on the aesthetics of maps (real and imaginary); 2) essays on the history of ideas concerning the representation of the world and the universe from a transhistorical and transcultural perspective; 3) essays on the philosophy of language concerning toponymy; 4) essays on linguistic relativism and geographical terms; 5) essays on the ontology of geographical notions; 6) essays on the relationship between mapping techniques and surveillance capitalism; 7) essays on mind mapping theories; 8) essays on conceptual cartographies.

Submission deadline: December 31st, 2023

Notification of acceptance: February 15th, 2024

Articles must be written in English and should not exceed 6,500 words (40,000 characters approx.). The instructions for authors can be consulted in the journal’s website: ‘Editorial Guidelines’.

Submissions must be suitable for blind review since JoLMA is indexed in Scopus. Each submission should also include a brief abstract of no more than 650 words and five keywords for indexing purposes. Notification of intent to submit, including both a title and a brief summary of the content, will be greatly appreciated, as it will assist with the coordination and planning of the issue.

For any questions, please use the following address: Francesco Ragazzi ([email protected]) or the journal ([email protected]).

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Custom tags:

#Philosophy of Geography, #Spatial cognition, #Aesthetics of maps, #conceptual cartography, #Gilbert Ryle, #linguistic relativism