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In today's world of Google Maps and global positioning systems, people often forget that it wasn't always so easy to decipher how to get from point A to point B. Similarly, when using a road map, you may not realize that what you are unfolding represents the synthesis of decades of exploration, reckoning, and artistry.
This course surveys the golden age of cartography, highlighting maps and mapmakers from the Middle Ages and ancient Rome to 18th-century America. Using rare and magnificent maps from the James Ford Bell Library’s collection, you’ll delve into the history, romance, and beauty of cartography and learn how ideas about the world have changed over time—not just on maps, but in the imagination as well.
Marguerite Ragnow, PhD, University of Minnesota, is curator of the James Ford Bell Library, a member of the graduate faculties of History, Medieval Studies, and Early Modern Studies, and codirector of the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World at the University. She also is president of the Society for the History of Discoveries. One of her research interests is the impact of the printing press on the dissemination of geographic knowledge in the 16th and early 17th centuries.
Offered in cooperation with the James Ford Bell Library.