Almost universally, newly independent states make the production of new maps and atlases affirming their independence and identity a top priority, but the processes and practices by which previously colonized peoples become more engaged or re-engaged in mapping their own territories are rarely straightforward. This collection explores the relationship between mapping and decolonization while engaging recent theoretical debates about the nature of decolonization itself. The essays, originally delivered as the 2010 Kenneth Nebenzahl Jr. Lectures in the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, encompass more than two centuries (from the late eighteenth through the twentieth) and three continents (Latin America, Africa, and Asia). Topics range from mapping and national identity in late colonial Mexico to the enduring crisis created by the partition of British India and the persistence of racial prejudices and the racialized organization of space in apartheid and postapartheid South Africa.
Almost universally, newly independent states seek to affirm their independence and identity by making the production of new maps and atlases a top priority. For formerly colonized peoples, however, this process neither begins nor ends with independence, and it is rarely straightforward. Mapping their own land is fraught with a fresh set of issues: how to define and administer their territories, develop their national identity, establish their role in the community of nations, and more. The contributors to Decolonizing the Map explore this complicated relationship between mapping and decolonization while engaging with recent theoretical debates about the nature of decolonization itself. These essays, originally delivered as the 2010 Kenneth Nebenzahl Jr. Lectures in the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, encompass more than two centuries and three continents Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Ranging from the late eighteenth century through the mid-twentieth, contributors study topics from mapping and national identity in late colonial Mexico to the enduring complications created by the partition of British India and the racialized organization of space in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. A vital contribution to studies of both colonization and cartography, Decolonizing the Map is the first book to systematically and comprehensively examine the engagement of mapping in the long and clearly unfinished parallel processes of decolonization and nation building in the modern world.
James R. Akerman is director of the Newberry Library's Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and editor of Cartographies of Travel and Navigation and coeditor of Maps: Finding Our Place in the World, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Acknowledgments Introduction James R. Akerman Chapter 1 Cartography and Decolonization Raymond B. Craib Chapter 2 Entangled Spaces: Mapping Multiple Identities in Eighteenth-Century New Spain Magali Carrera Chapter 3 Cartography in the Production (and Silencing) of Colombian Independence History, 1807-1827 Lina del Castillo Chapter 4 Democratizing the Map: The Geo-body and National Cartography in Guatemala, 1821-2010 Jordana Dym Chapter 5 Uncovering the Roles of African Surveyors and Draftsmen in Mapping the Gold Coast, 1874-1957 Jamie McGowan Chapter 6 Multiscalar Nations: Cartography and Countercartography of the Egyptian Nation-State Karen Culcasi Chapter 7 Art on the Line: Cartography and Creativity in a Divided World Sumathi Ramaswamy Chapter 8 Signs of the Times: Commercial Road Mapping and National Identity in South Africa Thomas J. Bassett Contributors Index
"Excellent scholarship permeates every chapter of Decolonizing the Map. The essays collected here by Akerman are subtle, tightly argued, and carefully crafted; the standard of analysis and exposition is uniformly high. This fascinating volume will be widely read and enthusiastically received by a readership spanning political history, historical geography, and, of course, the history of cartography."-- "Michael Heffernan, University of Nottingham" "Decolonizing the Map examines how maps were used before and after independence movements to establish new nations that emerged in the lengthy decolonization process. In different contexts, the contributors reveal not only how maps served as a basis for the construction of those nations but also how they were reflections of those recently emerged entities, condensing all the characteristics and contradictions of each process. This book is a pioneering intellectual enterprise--a highly recommended and welcome contribution to the field."-- "Junia Ferreira Furtado, Federal University of Minas Gerais"
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