Mythic Geographies

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Historical Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 8
Organizers: Nicolas Bergmann, Robert Briwa
Chairs: Nicolas Bergmann

Call for Submissions

Interested participants should send abstracts to Nick Bergmann ( and Rob Briwa ( by November 14th.
Please do not hesitate to contact with any inquiries.


Geographers have long engaged with the concept of myth (Cosgrove 1982; Denevan 1992; Nunn 2003). However, recent scholarship (Margulies and Bersaglio 2018; Essebo 2019) provides exciting opportunities to reinvigorate studies of myth’s spatial and political relationships. Following Essebo (2019), this session understands myth primarily as a “a taken-for-granted belief that alleviates fear, naturalises ideology, and guides everyday behavior” (515). Importantly, this definition does not relegate myth to a construction of “pre-modern” societies but forces scholars to grasp with the existence of myth during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This session seeks to stimulate further geographical engagement with myth. Thus, we welcome papers interested in exploring theoretical and methodological innovations as well as engaging empirical case studies. This meeting’s location in Seattle may prompt a regional focus on the American West, which is viewed as an exceptionally mythic region (Blake 2014). We hope, however, that this session will attract scholarship that interrogates myth in diverse global and temporal contexts. Ultimately, the session’s goals are to provide opportunities to showcase emerging geographic scholarship about myth and develop a network of practitioners interested in furthering disciplinary engagements with this topic.


Blake, K. 2014. Making mythic landscapes, in C. Colten and G. Buckley (Eds.) North American Odyssey: Historical Geographies for the Twenty-first Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 251-271.

Cosgrove, D. 1982. The myth and the stones of Venice: an historical geography of a symbolic landscape. Journal of Historical Geography, 8, 145-169.

Denevan, W. 1992. The pristine myth: The landscape of the Americas in 1492. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 82, 369-385.

Essebo, M. 2019. A mythical place: A conversation on the early aspects of myth. Progress in Human Geography, 43, 515-530.

Margulies, J., and B. Bersaglio. 2018. Critical review: Furthering post-human political ecologies. Geoforum, 94, 103-106.

Nunn, P. 2003. Fished up or thrown down: The geography of Pacific Island origin myths. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93, 350-364.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Robert Briwa*, Angelo State University, Jean Giono and the Creation of Mythic Literary Spaces 15 3:05 PM
Presenter Xavier Lemaire*, University College London, Large Water Projects and Conflicted Territorial Identities in sub-Saharan Africa: Social imaginary significations linked to the Development of the Senegal River 15 3:20 PM
Presenter Mai Kobayashi*, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Rekha Chhetri, College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan, 100% Organic by 2020: Explorations into Bhutan’s prophetic pickle 15 3:35 PM
Presenter Oznur Sahin*, Western Sydney University, Mobilising Myth: Istanbul as Ottoman-Islamic city 15 3:50 PM
Presenter Nicolas T Bergmann*, Montana State University, Rematerializing Geographies of Myth 15 4:05 PM

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