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Putting the Figure on the Map

Putting the Figure on the Map
The Little Traveller; or A Sketch of Various Parts of the World. (London: Dean & Munday, between 1820 and 1830).

Upcoming Conference

“Putting the Figure on the Map
Imagining Sameness and Difference for Children”

Co-organized by Andrea Immel and Emer O’Sullivan
Hosted by the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University September 11-13 2013
Conference Schedule

The world seemed to shrink during the nineteenth century, thanks to improved communications and transportation that facilitated travel, whether for commerce, conquest or leisure. Similarly the wonders of the world could be brought into the home via photography, maps, travel writing, and fiction. The representation of foreign lands inevitably required the illustration and description of their residents, which gave rise to a rich repository of colourful images of diversity. Children’s books were important vehicles for the expression of senses of national identity that could confirm the superiority of one culture, marginalize others, instill a sense of international brotherhood or regional patriotism, etc., not just reflections of dumbed-down ideas for adults.    Through a tangle of national types, stereotypes, and archetypes, children’s books shaped discourse as much as they reflected mainstream adult culture.

This interdisciplinary program, which will draw on the approaches of imagology, history, anthropology, psychology, and literary criticism, will focus on modes of expression arising within or without the classroom that either target children or appropriate discourses for them to create competing, complimentary or contradictory images of foreign nations.

The proceedings will also include two workshops focusing on materials from the Cotsen research collection, with a selection of artefacts on hand for viewing.  

To register, please click here.


Please click on the presenter's name for their biography and the abstract of their paper.

Amanda Brian (Coastal Carolina University)
Minjie Chen (Princeton University Library)
Nina Christensen (Aarhus University)
Gabriele von Glasenapp (University of Cologne) 
Margaret R. Higonnet (University of Connecticut, Storrs) 
Eric J. Johnson (Ohio State University) 
Cynthia Koepp (Wells College) 
Gillian Lathey (Roehampton University) 
Farah Mendlesohn (Anglia Ruskin University) 
Silke Meyer (University of Innsbruck)
Setsuko Noguchi (Princeton University Library)
Emer O’Sullivan (Leuphana University)
Lara Saguisag (CUNY-College of Staten Island)
Martina Seifert (Lüneburg)
Jill Shefrin (Trinity College, University of Toronto) 

For information, please contact Andrea Immel