Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

Imaginary Cartographies

ELN 52.1 Spring/Summer 2014

“Imaginary Cartographies”

Call for Papers:  ELN Special Issue, “Imaginary Cartographies.”

In recent decades the map has emerged as a key site of cultural and imaginative reworking, and yet the history of such symbolic mediations between humans and their spatial environment is also ancient and complex. Volume 52.1 of ELN (Spring/Summer 2014) will investigate “Imaginary Cartographies” across centuries and cultural contexts to explore a range of these symbolic mediations. The term intends to include those methods of mapping literary space that generate both imaginative and culturally revealing understandings of recognizable and/or created worlds and their modes of habitation. “Imaginary Cartographies” refers to actual as well as purely conceptual forms of mapping, and includes spaces of considerable variability: from the mapping of cosmic, global, or local space, to charting the spaces of the body or the page. Geographers have argued that the social history of maps, unlike that of literature, art, or music, has few genuinely popular, or subversive modes of expression because maps pre-eminently are a language of power, not of protest; in this view, the map remains a site of territorial knowledge and state power, authority and jurisdiction, social codes and spatial disciplines—one intent upon eliding its tactile and material conditions of production. “Imaginary Cartographies” welcomes approaches to mapping that complicate this account by considering subaltern or alternative cartographies—cartographies that elude, interrupt, or disperse forms of power, or serve not-yet-imagined spectrums of interests.

Winner of the Phoenix Award for Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2008, the biannual journal ELN (English Language Notes) has been devoted exclusively to special topics in all fields of literary and cultural studies since its dramatic redesign in 2006.  Now a respected, peer-reviewed journal, the new ELN provides a unique forum for cutting-edge debate and exchange among university-affiliated and independent scholars, artists of all kinds, and academic as well as cultural institutions. The journal is particularly determined to revive and reenergize its traditional commitment to shorter notes, roundtable discussions, collaborative and interdisciplinary work, and all forms of scholarly innovation. For more information on previous issues please visit our website:

Contributors may wish to present recent research findings on particular writers, cultural figures, or texts, or they may venture insights on broadly defined subjects, such as the aesthetics or politics of imaginary cartographies in a particular cultural or historical instance; on what constitutes cartographic assumptions or practices about space, nature, cosmology, or exploration at particular historical moments; on how cartography intersects with broader issues of knowledge creation and management, or the history of capital and conquest; or on the entanglement of literary theory with debates about (digitally) mapping texts individually or categorically. Papers on literature and particular cartographic practices are welcome: e.g. psychogeography, geomancy, cognitive mapping, digital mapping, and so on. Actual maps that are in some way conversant with literary concerns are also welcome.

Position papers and essays of no longer than twenty-five manuscript pages are invited from scholars in all fields of literature, geography, history, philosophy, and the arts. Along with analytical, interpretive, and historical scholarship, we are also interested in creative work that moves traditional forms of literary analysis into new styles of critical writing. The editors also encourage collaborative work and are happy to consider works that are submitted together as topical clusters. Another format that we invite is a debate or conversation between or among contributors working on a related aspect of cartography.

Please send abstracts, proposals, and inquiries to the issue editor, Karen Jacobs: (<>) by November 15, 2013.

Finished submissions are due December 15, 2013 (in Chicago style, MS Word 12 pt, images as JPEGs) to:

Special Issue Editor,  “Imaginary Cartographies”

English Language Notes

University of Colorado, Boulder

Hellems 101, 226 UCB

Boulder, CO 80309-0226


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