Tuesday 21 February 2017
4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room
University of Hong Kong
Imagining Maps in Words: A Comparative Analysis of Two Late Nineteenth Century Geographies of the Amur River Region
In the present century, humans can create maps that depict real-time topographical and demographic features of many places on Earth. The use of such technologies has changed geography as an academic discipline and as an aspect of social life. Expectations regarding the accuracy and authenticity of a map have increased for a range of functions from planning military strategy to plotting routes for everyday transportation. Through a close reading and comparison of Zou Daijun’s Zhong E Jieji (Notes about the Sino-Russian Border) and Tu Ji’s Heilongjiang Yutu Shuo (An Illustrated Geography of Heilongjiang), this talk reconsiders the value of maps designed with as much imagination as scientific knowledge, and how pictoral representations paired with written descriptions could inform readers of both physical and cultural traits of the featured areas.