Scale jumping in geography is when a social or other phenomenon jumps from a small sphere of influence to a much larger one or vice versa. The power of scale jumping is that small events can affect large ones, or a small or large phenomenon is exposed as limited because of its scale. The simple juxtaposition of things of vastly different sizes also implies a distinct kind of metonymy or transumptio that is similar to scale jumping. Papers are sought that examine the nature and effects of scale jumping in scientific, literary, historical, and artistic works.

Abstracts should be submitted only through the form on this page. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.

Abstracts are due April 24, 2017.

You need not be an NCS member to submit an abstract, but you must be one before presenting at the conference.

Medieval Maps of Paradise

Historian Alessandro Scafi on the garden of Eden, Augustin’s concept of creation, and the emergence of the term “Paradise.”

The video is a part of the project British Scientists produced in collaboration between Serious Science and the British Council.

The MAPS site has now been configured so anyone can post about MAPS related conferences, publications, events, comments, and so on. Please respect the site and its topics; I will continue to monitor what is posted.

On the right of the site’s main page, you will see the following:



Image for Oxford Medieval Studies Programme

A conference on ‘Mobility and Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe‘ will be held on Friday 23rd June 2017 at the University of Oxford.

The application of spatial paradigms to the study of late medieval and early modern societies is now well underway. In contrast, the so-called ‘mobility turn’ has struggled to find its way from the social sciences to the humanities and particularly to disciplines concerned with the study of the past. This conference proposes to bring the two together by exploring how everyday mobility contributed to the shaping of late medieval and early modern spaces, and how spatial frameworks affected the movement of people in pre-modern Europe.

In focusing on these issues, the conference also intends to relate to current social challenges. The world is now more mobile than ever, yet it is often argued that more spatial boundaries exist today than ever before. The conference hopes to reflect on this contemporary paradox by exploring the long-term history of the tension between the dynamism of communities, groups and individuals, and the human construction of places and boundaries.

Prospective speakers are invited to submit proposals of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers. Papers may engage with questions of mobility and space at a variety of levels (regional, urban, domestic) and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged.

Potential sub-topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

Performing space through movement (urban processions, revolts on the move, border patrols & frontier trespassing)

Mobile practices in public spaces (itinerant courts & diplomatic exchanges, periodic markets & temporary fairs, travelling performances)

Narrating movement, imagining space (pilgrimage guides, merchant itineraries travel diaries, maps & portraits)

Digital scholarship in exploring the intersections between mobility and space (network analysis, flow modelling, GIS-based research)

We plan to edit a volume which will include selected papers from the conference. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we may also be able to provide some travel bursaries to PhDs and ECRs not in receipt of institutional support.

Please send your proposal and a brief bio by 1 February 2017 to & or tweet us using the hashtag #mobilityandspace

This conference is in association with TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies programme.



The two-day conference, Richard Hakluyt and the Renaissance Discovery of the World, takes place on 24 November at the Bodleian Library, and on 25 November at Christ Church, Oxford. Twenty renowned experts on Hakluyt and early modern travel and exploration have accepted an invitation to speak at the conference. The keynote lecture on 24 November, “No Land Unhabitable, Nor Sea Innavigable“: Hakluyt’s Argument from Design will be delivered by Professor Joyce Chaplin(Harvard University). At the conclusion of the event on 25 November, a free to attend public lecture, Voyages, Traffiques, Discoveries, will be given by the well-known broadcaster and historian Professor Michael Wood.

Beyond Borders: Mutual Imaginings of Europe & the Middle East (800-1700)

The 25th biennial conference of the Barnard Medieval & Renaissance Studies Program brings together scholars whose work challenges the stark border between Europe and the Middle East during the long period between 800-1700. Rather than thinking of these areas in isolation, this interdisciplinary conference reveals the depth of their mutual influence, exploring how trade, war, migration, and the exchange of ideas connected East and West during their formative periods. Distant worlds were not only objects of aggression, but also, inextricably, of fantasy and longing, as Jewish, Muslim, and Christian thinkers looked to each other to understand their own cultural histories and to imagine their futures. Plenary speakers are Nabil Matar of the University of Minnesota and Nancy Bisaha of Vassar College.

Conference Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Martin Waldseemüller’s 1516 Carta Marina. Keynote address by award winning author and historian of science Dava Sobel.

A two-day conference hosted by the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta Marina, one of the great masterpieces of Renaissance cartography, and focus on some of the most mysterious maps of the medieval and early modern periods. The conference will also unveil a multimedia interactive website on the life of Waldseemüller and feature best-selling author and historian of science Dava Sobel as the keynote speaker.

The Schoner Sammelband. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The Schoner Sammelband. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

“Facts or Fictions: Debating the Mysteries of Early Modern Science and Cartography—A Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of Waldseemüller’s 1516 Carta Marina” will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.


The Medieval Association of Place and Space invites paper proposals for three sessions at the Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, May 11–14, 2017. The deadline for proposals is September 15, 2016. Please submit all proposals to Matthew Boyd Goldie, indicating in which panel you would be interested participating.


Virtual Mappa (British Library), DM (University of Pennsylvania), Outremer (Fordham), Early Medieval Maps (University College London), Pelagios, and other projects have begun to show the diversity and utility of digital maps of various kinds. Congress attendees are eager to learn about the practical, theoretical, and pedagogical implications of digital projects; these sessions are in part a response to interest expressed at the 2016 Congress. These two linked sessions will explore the rapidly developing role of geographic information systems (GIS) in medieval studies, both the geospatial presentation of data and the digitization of medieval maps and other visual media.

Geoinformatics I: Practices, Successes, and Challenges of GIS and Digital Images (workshop): The first workshop session will offer overviews and (where feasible) hands-on demonstrations of established digital projects and ones in development. The benefits will be for attendees to learn about the projects, interact with developers, and gain an understanding of the ways they may go about beginning their own large or small geoinformation projects. The workshop’s goals will however go beyond introductions to the projects in order for workshop participants to discuss the challenges in building GIS and other platforms and to outline the benefits for researchers and teachers. Submit your proposal here.

Geoinformatics II: Implications of Medieval Geodata and Digital Maps (panel discussion): The aim of the second panel discussion will be to examine, theoretically and otherwise, the approaches and results of geoinformation for the Middle Ages. Papers may explore how GIS and other digital projects can produce new findings as well as investigating any potential shortcomings. Analysis in terms of theorizations of geoinformatics, space more generally, and geographical and imaginary spaces are particularly welcome. Questions panelists might address include: What are medieval data? How qualitatively rich can digital information be, and what kinds of texts can or should be mapped? How is the visual presentation of data different from a written account? Are there useful ways to map non-specific or non-geographic spaces, and are there compelling reasons to do so? Submit your proposal here.

Space Oddities (panel discussion):

Research into spatial phenomena in historical, literary, and visual sources has revealed many of the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of the often unique ways the Middle Ages considered space and the contents of real and imagined places. Scholars have furthered our understandings of ideas about the cosmos, non-European cultures, non-human creatures, the ars memoriae, and more. This panel seeks to extend this work by focusing on the more peculiar ways that space was addressed and the very different phenomena it could contain. Panelists will present on outlandish, internally inconsistent, eccentric, and other spatial entities that present challenges and do not conform to current understandings of geospace or expectations of what they would encounter. Submit your proposal here.



The Medieval Association of Place and Space is now accepting proposals for sessions at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 11-14, 2017.

The deadline for session proposals is June 1, 2016.

If you have ideas for topics, please post them here or email us with your ideas.

Jesus as the Trinity, Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art

The Medieval Association of Place and Space is tickled to announce three sessions at Kalamazoo on Friday. Plus there’s a free business meeting for all to propose for next year’s International Congress on Medieval Studies, or you can email us here.





Friday, 10.00 AM       Session 192
Schneider 1135           Space, “Race,” and Ethnicity
Sponsor: Medieval Association of Place and Space (MAPS)

Organizer: Kathy Lavezzo, Univ. of Iowa
Presider: Kathy Lavezzo
“The Proude Court of Paradis”: Explorations of Otherness in Middle English Romance
John A. Geck, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland

India in the Fifteenth Century
Galia Halpern, DePauw Univ.

The Location of Desire: Refractions of Objecthood in Aucassin and Nicolette
Stefanie Goyette, New York Univ.

“Rare” and Wondrous: Cannibalism and the Monstrous Races on Late Medieval and Early Modern Maps
Sarah L. Reeser, Centre for Medieval Studies, Univ. of Toronto

Friday, 1.30 PM         Session 244
Schneider 1135           Scale I: Microspaces
Sponsor: Medieval Association of Place and Space (MAPS)

Organizer: Kathy Lavezzo, Univ. of Iowa
Presider: Valerie Allen, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Forest and Trees: Polyvalent Scale in the Geography of Malory’s Morte Darthur
Meg Roland, Marylhurst Univ.

Mary Magdalene’s Rock
Elizabeth Allen, Univ. of California–Irvine

Seeing and Street Life: The Carpenter’s Window
Ellen K. Rentz, Claremont McKenna College

Friday, 3.30 PM         Session 299
Schneider 1140           Scale II: Macrospaces
Sponsor: Medieval Association of Place and Space (MAPS)

Organizer: Kathy Lavezzo, Univ. of Iowa
Presider: Catherine Annette Grisé, McMaster Univ.
The Place of Maps
Marcia Kupfer, Independent Scholar

The Boundaries of Belief: Geography and Theology in the Navigatio sancti Brendani
Seth Hunter Koproski, Cornell Univ.

Distant Romance: Making Macrospace through Narrative
Paul A. Broyles, Univ. of Virginia

Mapping Micro-Languages in Central Asia
Karla Mallette, Univ. of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Friday, 5.15 PM         Business Meeting
Fetzer 1030     Medieval Association of Place and Space (MAPS)


Also see:                                                 

Saturday, 10.00 AM                             
Schneider 1125                       
Presider: Kathy Lavezzo, Univ. of Iowa

“You Are Here”: Mosaic Pavements as Cosmological Maps in the Medieval West
Nicole Ford Burley, Boston Univ.

There’s a Map for That: Elucidating Medieval Mappae Mundi through Contemporary Mapping Technologies
Helen Davies, Univ. of Mississippi

Medieval Mappaemundi as Dramatic Structure
Dana Tanner-Kennedy, Yale Univ.

The Sixteenth-Century Russian Cartographic Materials: The Remains of Old Tradition of the First Cartographic Experience?
Alexey Frolov, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences