Feminist cartography or feminist mapping: what's in a name?

Authors: Christina Dando*, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Topics: Cartography, Gender, History of Geography
Keywords: gender, cartography, mapping, history of geography
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Matthew Edney has recently argued for the end of the use of the word “cartography” and its fixation on the creation of “ideal” maps, calling for the embracing of “mapping” to refocus attention on the process of creating maps (Edney 2019). While Edney does not address explicitly the gendering of the field, the word cartography has long been associated with the masculinist practices of geography, essential to the control of bodies, spaces, and resources. This paper considers the implications of language – of the word mapping as opposed to cartography – in considering feminist practices of producing and utilizing maps. I argue that feminist mapping has been practiced for well over one hundred years by women in many parts of the globe. By embracing the phrase “feminist mapping,” it ties into a rich history of feminist counter-mapping and opens up a space for mapping for a more equitable future for all.

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