Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Cartography, Territory, and Indigeneity (HIST10459)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course uses cartography as a window into conflicting ideas about territory, sovereignty, and identity among states and indigenous peoples.
Course description Our diverse understandings of territory shape nearly every aspect of our daily lives. They justify state-sponsored war and restrictions on immigration, and they shape how we distribute and use natural resources. Modern notions of territory also shape our identities, including our sense of belonging to a nation or a community, while territory can also be used to demarcate racial, class, and gender hierarchies. In this course, we will examine cartography as a lens for analyzing modern ideas of territory and sovereignty, particularly by state officials and indigenous peoples. Maps help us to understand how territories are claimed, how nations and nationalisms are formed, and how measuring and representing geographic space influences encounters between different cultures. Maps enable us to understand conflicting political ideals and tense relationships between competing sovereignties and territories of indigenous peoples and nation-states.

In the first half of this course, we will examine the role of cartography in the construction of conflicting territories, sovereignties, and identities across the modern world. In the second half of this course, we will closely examine specific examples of territorial construction in the Americas, especially Latin America.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 348 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2,000 word Book Review (10%)
4,000 word Literature Review Essay (30%)
2,000 word Primary Document (map) Analysis (10%)
4,000 word Research Essay (30%)
Participation in weekly discussion forums and seminar and facilitate weekly discussion forums (20%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and analyse the relationship between cartography, territory, and sovereignty among states and indigenous peoples;
  2. Engage primary sources in relationship to current scholarship;
  3. Contribute effectively to group discussions forums and seminar;
  4. Write and research a significant paper.
Reading List
Akerman, James R., ed. The Imperial Map. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2009

Akerman, James R., ed. Decolonizing the map: Cartography from colony to nation. University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Bryan, Joe, and Denis Wood. Weaponizing maps: Indigenous peoples and counterinsurgency in the Americas. Guilford Publications, 2015.

Burnett, Graham. Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado (2000)

Craib, Raymond. Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

Harley, John Brian. The new nature of maps: essays in the history of cartography. John Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Hidalgo, Alex. Trail of Footprints: A History of Indigenous Maps from Viceregal Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2019.

Kaplan, Caren. Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017.

Lennox, Jeffers. Homelands and Empires: Indigenous Spaces, Imperial Fictions, and Competition for Territory in Northeastern North America, 1690-1763. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017.

Mundy, Barbara. The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geográficas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Rankin, William. After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016

Winichakul, Thongchai. Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of Nation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will encourage students to:

- Provide clear written and oral analyses based on historical argumentation.
- Identify historical continuities and ruptures.
- Undertake a sustained research project and complete it within a strict time frame.
- Write in clear, accurate, and precise prose.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Julie Gibbings
Tel: (0131 6)50 3841
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information