Mapping “No-Place”: Geographical Fantasy in Nineteenth-Century America
Remapping is inherently an act of dissent. As Denis N. Cosgrove observes, “The measure of mapping is not restricted to the mathematical; it may be equally spiritual, political, or moral. By the same token, the mapping’s record is not confined to the archival; it includes the remembered, the imagined, and the contemplated.” What role do illusory places––literary utopias, hoaxes, legends, visions, and other fictions––play in critiquing, reinforcing, or challenging mainstream American culture in the nineteenth century? This proposed panel explores aspirational, deceptive, and fantastical spaces which throw the existing world into relief to propose plausible and potent alternative microcosms. We invite essays that explore unreal places and their effects on borders, regions, campaigns, agendas, phenomena, or identities. These mirages, ruses, charades, and fabrications draw aspects of American life into focus, highlighting needs, desires, or revisions of the realities they amend or address.
The Sixth Biennial C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists Conference will be held in Coral Gables, Florida from April 2-5, 2020. Send 300-word proposals to Drs. Ashley Rattner (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ryan Charlton (Charlton.Ryan.M@gmail.com) by August 1.