Bowdoin Mellon Fellow Muses on Maps as Fiction

April Morris, Bowdoin’s Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History

April Morris, Bowdoin’s Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History

“I’m obsessed with maps,” said April Morris, Bowdoin’s Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History, at the start of her recent lecture “Maps, Monsters, and What it Means to be Human,” in which she argued that maps are a type of art.

Although “we give documents a great sense of authority,” Morris argued that a map is not an honest depiction of a place, but rather a record of the cartographer’s awareness of his surroundings at a certain point in time.

“A map is both a truthful lie and a lying truth,” Morris said, revealing more than just information about geography. Some medieval world maps, for instance, put Jerusalem at the epicenter or depict Jesus Christ gripping the edges of the map, showing the importance of Christianity in the 12th century.

Continue reading about Morris’ talk on “Maps, Monsters, and What it Means to be Human.”

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