HomeThe Cartography of Space: Voyagers in the Baltic and Mediterranean Regions from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century

HomeThe Cartography of Space: Voyagers in the Baltic and Mediterranean Regions from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century

The Cartography of Space: Voyagers in the Baltic and Mediterranean Regions from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century

La cartographie de l'espace : les voyageurs de la Mer baltique et de la Méditerranée du Moyen Âge au XIXe siècle

Die Kartographie des Raumes: Reisende im Ostsee- und Mittelmeerraum vom Mittelalter bis zum 19. Jahrhundert

*  *  *

Published on Friday, January 16, 2015


L'intérêt que la recherche historique récente porte à la notion de « l'espace » est étroitement liée aux changements politiques, économiques et culturels qui dépassent dans le contexte de la mondialisation les processus traditionnels d'identification et de structuration de l'État national. L'objectif du colloque présenté ici est d'analyser, au-delà des catégories traditionnelles de l'État nation, les conceptions et descriptions spatiales du passé qui se rapportent à la région de la Mer baltique et/ou la Méditerranée (ou à des espaces différement circonscrits tels le « Nord », le « Sud », le « Levant », etc.) tout en essayant de définir et de décrire ces espaces en tant que tels sur un plan historique, géographique et culturel.



Historical research about the category of „space“ – fairly stressed in recent times – is closely related to political, economical, and cultural change, that points, in the context of globalization, to processes exceeding territorial identification and state structures. The conference aims at seeking historical spatial perceptions, attributions and descriptions going beyond administrative, gubernatorial, and national definitions of the Baltic and/or the Mediterranean region.

The category of space has emerged as  a key concept for the study of political, economic and cultural transformation. It can be used to study territorial change, but also to trace the development of identities in local, as well global, contexts. The aim of this conference is to explore perceptions of space in the Baltic and Mediterranean regions, both physical and conceptual.

The conference is part of a research project supported by the “German-French College” (DFH-UFA). This college provides an opportunity for a network of young scholars to study how the category of space was engaged by historical travelers and recorded in travel literature.,. How did travelers construe mental images and maps and how did these manifest themselves in the  iconographic and cartographic depictions of the Baltic and Mediterranean regions. Categories – geographical, cultural, linguistic, architectural and literal - which often are regarded as set, often turn out to be just the opposite,  in constant flux. To study a category such as space it is necessary to peruse cartographic depictions in travel literature as entities unto themselves, as well as to elicit how these matters are transformed into mental representations in text. 

  • How do stereotypes affect these representations?
  • When do travelers feel the need to simplify complex phenomena to render the various categories of space understandable?
  • How does physical reality relate to the various perceptions of space? 
  • How are sources used and created to underscore the desired message?
  • Does size play a role – do conceptions of space differ if the territories in which these journeys are undertaken are of a different size? 
  • And does the act of travelling and recording contribute to the realization for the travelers themselves that they, too, are captives of their own strangeness?

Guidelines submission

The conference is open to all who are interested in how the encounter and engagement with foreign territories, cultures and social patterns contribute to transform individuals, societies and perceptions of them.,  Junior, as well as senior, scholars are welcome  to submit  abstracts of max. 500 words and a short intellectual biography to burghart.schmidt@univ-montp3.fr.

Deadline is February 15, 2015.

Talks can be given in German, English, and French. Publication of the contributions will follow shortly after the conference.


  • Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3
    Montpellier, France (34)


  • Sunday, February 15, 2015


  • carte, cartographie, voyageur, voyage


  • Burghart Schmidt
    courriel : burghart [dot] schmidt [at] univ-montp3 [dot] fr

Information source

  • Burghart Schmidt
    courriel : burghart [dot] schmidt [at] univ-montp3 [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The Cartography of Space: Voyagers in the Baltic and Mediterranean Regions from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, January 16, 2015, https://doi.org/10.58079/rs0

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search