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International Conference on Fictional Maps

augusti 28, 2015

Here’s a call for papers for a conference that those of you who know me can understand makes me very happy. (Oh, and I have been asked to deliver a keynote lecture, which also makes me happy.)

Conference Date: 21 – 23 January, 2016
Location: Katowice, Poland
Deadline for proposals: 30 October, 2015

Mapping the imaginary has always been a challenge for world-building and storytelling alike. Map of the fictional world subverts the very essence of an actual cartography: it represents a territory that cannot be discovered or traversed in a non-fictional realm and yet it delivers much more than a usual map: a promise of the journey into unknown. An exquisitely quotable phrase by J. R. R. Tolkien, who claimed to have “started with a map and [then] made the story fit”, is only reprising what have always been evident to cartographers and creators of imaginary worlds: maps precede territories and are inevitably becoming the most essential part of modern and postmodern storyworlds. Ambrosius Holbein’s wood-cut in the first edition of Thomas More’s Utopia, collectors editions map in video games, atlases of fictional universes, animated map routes in online reportages, or even interactive maps outlining the worlds of blockbuster TV shows — these are all indications of a significant shift in contemporary storytelling that looks for creating many and more access points to the fictional storyworld. Hence conference attendees will be asked to submit abstracts of presentations or poster descriptions revolving around:

  • fictional topography and geopotics
  • map theory & theorists
  • the dichotomy of a map and a territory
  • ways of mapping the imaginary
  • fictional cartography (maps, atlases, mini-maps, plans, charts, etc.)
  • maps of secondary, imaginary, fictional, possible or impossible worlds
  • relationship between world-building and map-making
  • function of maps: between navigating and augmenting the world
  • navigating the actual and the imaginary: Tim Ingold’s trail-following and wayfaring
  • case studies in literature
  • case studies in video games
  • case studies in movies and TV shows
  • case studies in comic books, graphic novels and other media
  • case studies in transmedia storytelling and transmedial franchises
  • case studies in fictional worlds

CFP International Conference Fictional Maps (pdf)

Conference web site

One Comment leave one →
  1. augusti 29, 2015 11:43 e m

    There actually is a conference on fictional maps in literature? How exciting!


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