Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Call for Papers: Subversive Cartographies...

Call for Papers, AAG Meeting Boston April 15-19, 2008

Subversive Cartographies for Social Change

Chris Perkins, University of Manchester

Jörn Seemann, Louisiana State University

To be subversive, is to wish to overthrow, destroy or undermine the principles of established orders. As such subversive cartographies offer alternative representations to established social and political norms. Maps are no longer cast as mirrors of reality, instead they are increasingly conceived as diverse ways of thinking, perceiving and representing space and place which express values, worldviews and emotions. Maps are no longer part of an elite discourse: they can empower, mystify, and enchant. More critical assessements of mapping increasingly explore subversive contexts strongly associated with innovative methodological approaches, with mapping seen as an explicitly situated form of knowledge. This shift has been strongly facilitated by the increasing popularity of new media, burgeoning technological change and newly developing mapping spaces (eg OpenStreetMap, WorldMapper and EmotionMap). So subversive mapping has an agency (Corner 1999), which can be enacted outside existing cartographic conventions. It has escaped from the grasp of cartographers: everybody is mapping nowadays.

This session focuses upon these subversive elements in contemporary cartographic practice and theory. We invite critical contributions from researchers concerned with the subversive potential of mapping, working in the fields of cartography, cultural, social, political, historical and social geography, ethnic and indigenous geography, qualitative approaches and allied areas. We are keen to have contributions from practitioners enacting change and making new maps, in artistic practice, protest movements, participatory development, and community activism. The aim is dialogue between academics and practitioners and with exploring how mapping research can challenge conventions and become more relevant to more people.


* New approaches and methods in subversive cartography. What qualitative and ethnographic approaches are most appropriate for which mapping circumstances?

* Institutional forms and agency: how do links and flows facilitate subversive mappings?

* The cultural significance of subversive mapping practices.

* The implications and consequences of technological shifts for subversive mapping. How does Web 2.0 change the oppositional mapping world?

* Subversive cartographies created through personal mappings.

* What is the role of mapping aesthetics and artistic practice in creating subversive cartographies ?

* Can subversive cartographies really work as countermapping to enact political changes?

Proposed papers in the form of a title and short abstract (250 words maximum) should be submitted to Chris Perkins ( or Jörn Seemann ( by 30th September 2007. Further details on the paper requirements and registration for the AAG meeting are at .