The CESS Map Room: a new Thematic Column by Michael Hancock-Parmer

The CESS Map Room: Projections of Past and Present

Welcome to the CESS Map Room.  I hope the title brings to mind the wooden-paneled halls of nineteenth-century orientalists, or perhaps even the scholars themselves ensconced in study surrounded by globes and framed maps—works of artful science crafted with both painstaking effort and bold imagination.


Your correspondent will be regularly posting illustrated stories related to the cartographic fields of knowledge. Which old maps can we advantageously bring once more into the light? What new maps are making it into the headlines? How does CESS fit into the larger society of map-lovers, -readers, and –makers? In addition to tackling these and other questions, this column will strive to educate its readership on some basics of map-making, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and the interdisciplinary adhesive power of cartography.

Michael Hancock-Parmer

By way of introduction, your humble author is (in 2015) an American doctoral candidate in History and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Unlike the géographe of d’Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved 1943 novella Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), the author has indeed spent a little time in the area about which he will write. However, his experience in Central Eurasia has thus far been limited to research and volunteer work in the republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. His dissertation topic is the so-called Bare Footed Flight of the Kazakhs, the result of a Kazakh-Jungar war in the 1720s.