How maps condition our world: George Hill's research at the Intellectual Forum
Jesus LLM graduate and Intellectual Forum intern George Hill is currently undertaking a research project concerning the role of maps and mapping in forming the modern international imagination. This has resulted in a series of short essays in the Cambridge Globalist and will form the basis for an upcoming journal article.
George’s research explores the idea that maps not only reflect our world, but actively shape and condition it. He suggests that maps need to be critiqued on two levels. First, individual maps need to be contextualised as representing particular (and often highly political) perceptions of space. Second, the map needs to be critically addressed as a prescriptive format in itself, rather than a source of objective truth. His research spans the length of modern cartography, starting with bird's-eye cityscapes in Renaissance Italy, through the colonial mapping of Africa, to the rise of the modern nation-state.
As the map has been an unaddressed constant in modern international law and geopolitics, his project aims to foster a more active critical consciousness towards maps and the processes that underlie their production.