Maps in World History


The map is a fundamental artifact of human culture.  It documents how people understand the spaces in which they live, the relationship between nature and society, and the shape of the surrounding world.  This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the history of cartography that ranges across the globe from the oldest surviving images of space and place to GIS systems.  Anchored by an interactive digital atlas of 100 core maps, our course approaches mapping from a variety of perspectives, including the history of science, art history, the psychology of wayfinding, and the history of empire.  Readings include Jerry Brotton’s A History of the World in 12 Maps, excerpts from the landmark History of Cartography series, and a number of innovative online visualizations of maps, data, and geography.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts