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Marissa Griffioen MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Dutch History, Early Modern History, European History

Cohort/Start PhD: 2022-2023

Map Encounters: The Material Culture of Maps in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1500-1800

University of Amsterdam
Supervisor(s): Prof. dr. Bram Vannieuwenhuyze, dr. Djoeke van Netten
Aanstelling: 2022-2027

This interdisciplinary PhD project analyses the history of map use to answer the question: how common and widespread were maps in early modern society? Limited by the relatively small number of used maps that have survived, existing studies are contradictory about the circulation and consumption of maps and the development of cartographic literacy in the early modern period. In my PhD project, I offer a new and innovative method to examine early modern map use by collecting and analysing map encounters in visual and textual historical sources, such as prints, paintings, letters, advertisements and other map use promoting texts. The central concept of map encounters demonstrates (1) how historical sources shed light on maps and their users, and (2) what ideas and concepts about maps and their use circulated in the early modern period. Using case studies from the Low Countries, the largest map market in early modern Europe, I will identify developments in the places, times and people who used maps. This will show the specific context in which people had access to maps, but also identify those who remained excluded from maps and cartographic information in this period of increasing globalisation, and thus explore how the group of map users became more inclusive in early modern society.

Affiliation(s): University of Amsterdam, Explokart, Allard Pierson