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Week 13: African Cartography

Seminar Questions

  • How does James MacQueen’s map of Africa reflect his politics?
  • How were maps of Africa made authoritative?
  • In what ways did Africans contribute to African cartography?
  • Compare and contrast the mapping of India and Africa.

Seminar Readings

** MacQueen, James, A Geographical and Commercial View of Northern Central Africa (Edinburgh, 1821), v-xix and ‘Map of Africa’

** MacQueen, James, ‘Africa – Slave Trade – Tropical Colonies’, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 55 (1844)

* Lambert, David, ‘“Taken Captive by the Mystery of the Great River”: Towards an Historical Geography of British Geography and Atlantic Slavery’, Journal of Historical Geography, 35 (2009)

Additional Readings

Primary

MacQueen, James, A Geographical Survey of Africa (London, 1840)

A wide range of maps of Africa, from the 1700s to the 1900s, can be found through the following online collections:

Secondary

Bassett, Thomas J., and Philip W. Porter, ‘“From the Best Authorities”: The Mountains of Kong in the Cartography of West Africa’, The Journal of African History, 32 (1991)

Bassett, Thomas, ‘Indigenous Mapmaking in Intertropical Africa’, in The History of Cartography: Cartography in Traditional Africa, Americam, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies (Chicago, IL, 1998), vol. 2, book 3

Dritsas, Lawrence, ‘Expeditionary Science: Conflicts of Method in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Geographical Discovery’, in Livingstone, David N., and Charles W. J. Withers (eds), Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science (Chicago, IL, 2011)

Dritsas, Lawrence, ‘From Lake Nyassa to Philadelphia: A Geography of the Zambesi Expedition, 1858–64’, The British Journal for the History of Science, 38 (2005)

Fabian, Johannes, ‘Remembering the Other: Knowledge and Recognition in the Exploration of Central Africa’, Critical Inquiry, 26 (1999)

Lambert, David, ‘Sierra Leone and Other Sites in the War of Representation over Slavery’, History Workshop Journal, 4 (2007)

Lambert, David, Mastering the Niger: James MacQueen’s African Geography and the Struggle over Atlantic Slavery (Chicago, IL, 2014)

Maggs, Tim, ‘Cartographic Content of Rock Art in Southern Africa’, in The History of Cartography: Cartography in Traditional Africa, Americam, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies (Chicago, IL, 1998), vol. 2, book 3

Relano, Francesc, The Shaping of Africa: Cosmographic Discourse and Cartographic Science in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Burlington, VT, 2002)

Stone, Jeffrey C, ‘Imperialism, Colonialism and Cartography’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 13 (1988)

Stone, Jeffrey C, A Short History of the Cartography of Africa (Lewiston, NY, 1995)

Withers, Charles, ‘Mapping the Niger, 1798–1832: Trust, Testimony and “Ocular Demonstration” in the Late Enlightenment’, Imago Mundi, 56 (2004)

Seminar Powerpoint

Week 13 Slides

Seminar Handout

Week 13 Handout

Maps of Africa Resource

Evolution of Maps of Africa (Princeton)