Topics in Comparative Studies 2 (S1, 2018/2019)

Semester 1

Mapping literature: from the spatial turn to the digital turn                            Santiago Pérez Isasi

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., room 1.26

In recent years, literary studies have payed increasing attention to the dimension of space, applying concepts and methodologies adopted from Philosophy, Urbanism, Geography or Visual Arts. From Franco Moretti’s early proposals in his Atlas of the European novel, 1800-1900 (1998) to Bertrand Westpahl’s Geocriticism (2011) and Robert Tally’s Geocritical explorations (2011), the relation between literature and space, and between literature and cartography, has been approached from different perspectives. The mapping of fiction, in particular, has attracted much specific discussion and theorisation, for instance by B. Piatti’s research group.

On the other hand, this spatial turn in the Humanities has also been aided by the parallel development of the digital turn: digital technologies and methodologies applied to the Humanities, and more specifically to literary studies, have allowed for new approaches to texts and cultural systems. In the case of literary cartographies, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), even with their limitations, have aided the development of digital literary cartographies, such as Mapping the lakes, Compostela geoliteraria or Atlas das paisagens literárias de Portugal continental, to name but a few examples.

The contents of this seminar will offer an overview of the multiple relations between space, cartography and literature.