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Which clippings match 'Historical Narratives' keyword pg.1 of 1
23 FEBRUARY 2014

Mercator Projection versus the Gall-Peters Projection Maps

Fig.1 West Wing (television) season 2, episode 16, "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail".





Arno Peters • cartographic metaphorcartographic representationscartographycultural constructscultural hegemony • cylindrical equal-area projection • equal-area cylindric projection • equal-area map projection • Eurocentric legacy • Gall-Peters Projection Map • geographygraphic representationhistorical narrativeshow we see the worldinformation visualisation • James Gall • map • map design • maps • Mercator Projection Map • metaphors of realityphysical geographypolitics of cartographyprojectionspatial representationspatial symbolismsymbolic meaning • The West Wing (television) • unexamined assumptionsvisual representationworld mapsworld view


Simon Perkins
12 MAY 2013

Can Histories Be True? Narrativism, Positivism, and the MetaphoricalTurn

"Narrativism, as represented by Hayden White and Frank Ankersmit, can fruitfully be analyzed as an inversion of two brands of positivism. First, narrativist epistemology can be regarded as an inversion of empiricism. Its thesis that narratives function as metaphors which do not possess a cognitive content is built on an empiricist, 'picture view' of knowledge. Moreover, all the non–cognitive aspects attributed as such are dependent on this picture theory of knowledge and a picture theory of representation. Most of the epistemological characteristics that White and Ankersmit attribute to historical narratives therefore share the problems of this picture theory.

The article's second thesis is that the theories of narrative explanation can also fruitfully be analyzed as inversions of positivist covering–law theory. Ankersmit's brand of narrativism is the most radical in this respect because it posits an opposition between narrative and causal modes of comprehension while simultaneously eliminating causality from narrativist historical understanding. White's brand of narrativism is more of a hybrid than is Ankersmit's as far as its theory of explanation is concerned; nevertheless, it can also be fruitfully interpreted as an inversion of covering–law theory, replacing it by an indefinite multitude of explanatory strategies.

Most of the striking characteristics of both White's and Ankersmit's narrativism pre–suppose positivism in these two senses, especially their claim that historical narratives have a metaphorical structure and therefore no truth–value. These claims are had to reconcile with the factual characteristics of debates by historians; this problem can be tracked down to the absence in 'metaphorical' narrativism of a conceptual connection between historical narratives and historical research."

(Chris Lorenz, 1998, Wiley–Blackwell)

Lorenz, C. (1998). "Can Histories Be True? Narrativism, Positivism, and the "MetaphoricalTurn"." History and Theory 37(3): 309–329.


causal modes of comprehensioncausality • cognitive content • conceptual connection • empiricism • emplotment • explanatory strategy • factual characteristics • Frank Ankersmit • Hayden White • historical chronicles • historical narrative • historical narrativeshistorical researchhistorical understandinghistoriesknowledge • metahistory • metanarrativemetaphormetaphoric reference • metaphorical narrativism • metaphorical representation • metaphorical structure • metaphorical turn • narrative explanation • narratives • narrativism • narrativist epistemology • picture theory • picture view of knowledge • positivismrepresentation • storied ways of communicating • storied ways of knowing • truth claims • truth-value


Simon Perkins
28 APRIL 2013

Eurocentrism permeates our common cartographic representations

"on most maps, Europe and North America are situated on top–allowing us to believe that these countries are really 'on top of the world'. Africa, Australia and South America are always situated at the bottom. Why never the other way around? Cartographers make assumptions about the world (North is assumed to be at the top) and these assumptions have become normalised and are viewed as 'common sense'.

But these politically embedded assumptions help to structure how we see the world and our place in it. Few of us ever stop to think about the politics of cartography and what it says about Western cultural and economic imperialism and domination. Few ever think how these unexamined assumptions structure the way we see ourselves, to what extent and on what basis we rate our own worth (or supposed, entirely imagined, lack thereof) or how it restricts our imagination and limits the ways in which we think it is possible to excel and thrive in this world."

(Pierre De Vos, 23 April 2013)



Africa • apolitical • assumptionsAustraliaBritish Librarycartographic metaphorcartographic representationscartographychartcultural artefactcultural hegemonycultural imperialism • economic imperialism • economic significance • Eurocentric legacy • Eurocentrism • Europegeopolitical mapgraphic representationhistorical maphistorical narrativeshow we see the worldinformation visualisationinterpretationmapsmetaphors of reality • neo-European • neutralnormalisation process • normalised • North America • Northern hemisphere • objective perspective • our place in the world • physical geography • political assumptions • politics of cartographypost-colonialismpostcolonial • postcoloniality • reterritorialisationSouth AfricaSouth America • Southern hemisphere • standardised classification • The Lie of the Land (exhibition) • the worldthe world around us • top • understanding of the worldunexamined assumptions • visual critique • visual representationworld mapsworld politicsworld view


Simon Perkins

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