Call for Papers:

52.1 Spring/Summer 2014
“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. “Imaginary Cartographies” includes 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. The term refers to actual as well as purely conceptual maps, 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.

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.

Essays will be reviewed by external readers; all submissions should adhere to the Chicago-style endnote citation format. Please email double-spaced, 12-point font, .pdf file submissions to to:

Managing Editor
English Language Notes


Specific inquiries regarding issue 52.1 may be addressed to the issue editor, Karen Jacobs: (Karen.Jacobs@colorado.edu).

The deadline for inquiries and abstracts is November 15, 2013; submissions deadline is December 15, 2013.