The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining the 2019 EMCP 235 class on it’s one-week long journey through mapping and public history at Carleton University!

If maps exist to order and reorder the world, the world fights back. — Lucy Lippard

Photo from

Maps help us find our way; they show us where we are and how to get where we’re going. They represent the world around us. Or so it seems. Maps order a world that is in constant movement, create borders people cross every day, and show us places we have never been. And maybe places we can only dream of. In this course, we will explore imaginary places, phantom islands, and unknown lands on and off the map. From Hogsmeade, to Sandy Island, to Medieval maps, we will examine the social and political roles mapping has played throughout history, and what it means to map unknown and imaginary worlds. Afterall, the geographies of the past and future are also unknown worlds for us.

We’ll be exploring, looking at, interacting with, and even creating our own maps. On our journey, we will cross borders, real and mythical, discover phantom islands, and explore places we can only imagine. Through public history, we will look at how, in the words of Lucy Lippard maps “order and reorder the world,” but “the world fights back.” Through archive visits and case studies of various creative mapping projects, students will complete activities that will go up on this class blog. Public history is all about taking our work – you guessed it – public. The class blog will allow students to practice their writing, editing, and peer review skills. It will also showcase the students’ final research-creation projects.

We’re excited to have you along for the ride!

Cassandra Marsillo, course instructor

Featured photo: Map of Scotland by John Harding. (C) British Library, Lansdowne MS. 204, f.226v and Harley MS. 661 ff.187-188.

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