The third biennial Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography will focus on the theme of Indigenous mapping. The conference, to be held digitally, is hosted by the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Libraries, which sits on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. It is sponsored and co-organised by Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc., whose shop is located on the ancestral land of the Kumeyaay peoples.
This theme is of paramount importance, especially as Indigenous peoples around the world continue to fight for their recognition and rights to land and resources. Simultaneously, institutions are increasingly examining their roles in exploitative imperial expansion and settler colonialism.
The history of colonial encounter and of indigenous agency can both be glimpsed in historical maps, many of which were made by Indigenous peoples or thanks to crucial, and often unacknowledged, Indigenous contributions. More recently, mapping technologies are helping Indigenous groups to monitor resources, protect language, survey territory, govern, and provide evidence for reclamation and recognition procedures. Scholars, many of them Indigenous, are voicing their critiques and interventions using geographic and cartographic frameworks.
Each day of the conference will have a keynote, followed by panels that speak to a specific strain of scholarship: history of Indigenous maps and mapping, critical approaches to Indigenous geography, and digital approaches to Indigenous mapping.
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