AGSL Selects 2020 Fellows

The UWM Libraries’ American Geographical Society Library (AGSL) has awarded fellowships to three visiting scholars for 2020: Lauren Beck, professor of Hispanic Studies and Visual & Material Culture Studies at Mount Allison University; Lindsay Frederick Braun, associate professor of African History at the University of Oregon; and Phillip Koyoumjian, adjunct lecturer at the University of Rochester.

Entirely funded by generous donors, the fellowship program was created to give scholars from around the world an opportunity to pursue their work in proximity to AGSL’s distinguished collection of primary sources, which include over 520,000 maps of all types covering the world at a wide range of scales; an extensive photographic collection of more than 700,000 images in a variety of formats; and a number of important archives in the field of geography. The library also owns over 320,000 volumes of atlases, books, and periodicals related to geography and cartography.

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photo of lauren beckLauren Beck, who received a Robert W. McColl Research Program Fellowship, was one of two featured speakers for the AGSL’s 2019 “Maps and America” Arthur Holzheimer Lecture. Her research proposal is entitled “Honouring Our Place: Women, Indigenous People, and People of Color in Place Names and Place Emblems in the Americas.”

Her visit to AGSL, she writes, “will allow me to identify the origins of hitherto unstudied place names of North America that appear in travel narratives, maps, land records, correspondence, chronicles, and other documentation.” This research will further her book-in-progress, Critical Toponymies of the Americas: Race, Gender, and Class.

Beck’s previous books include Firsting in the Early-Modern Atlantic World (Routledge, 2019), Canada Before Confederation: Maps from the Exhibition (co-authored with C. Van Duzer, Vernon Press, 2017) and Transforming the Enemy in Spanish Culture: The Conquest Through the Lens of Visual and Textual Multiplicity (Cambria Press, 2013).

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photo of lindsay frederick braunLindsay Frederick Braun, awarded an AGSL Research Fellowship, is investigating the topic of “Geographers of Colonial East Africa and the American Geographical Society.”

Braun proposes to examine maps in the library that are relevant to East Africa in the early 20th century, and also “to pursue the correspondence that covered those maps’ transfer from the cartographers or publishers who sent them” to the American Geographical Society. His research, in the long term, is to “inform a book on the 1875‐1955 survey of the Arc of the Thirtieth Meridian in Africa, a project that British adventuring parties started and the US Army Map Service ultimately completed.”

Braun has published one book, Colonial Survey and Native Landscapes in Rural South Africa, 1850-1913: The Politics of Space in the Cape and Transvaal (Brill, 2015), and numerous journal articles and chapters, including “An Agent in Pretoria? Fred Jeppe, the Cartography of the Transvaal, and Imperial Knowledge Before 1900” (The Cartographic Journal 55, No. 2, 2018) and “Colonial and Imperial Cartography” (The History of Cartography, Volume 6: The Twentieth Century, University of Chicago Press, 2015).

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photo of phillip koyoumjianAlso named an AGSL Research Fellow, Phillip Koyoumjian will consider materials related to his proposal, “Maps and the Making of Geographical Knowledge in Britain, 1660-1730”—a transformation and expansion of his dissertation into a book. The monograph’s thesis, he says, is that “most seventeenth- and eighteenth-century maps were often presented as rational productions but remained fundamentally ephemeral expressions of the prejudices, fashions, and events of the time of their making.”

While at UWM, Koyoumjian plans to research a number of rare European maps, atlases, and sea charts in AGSL’s collections that he considers “crucial for a full-length study of the British map trade” during the Enlightenment.

His publications and presentations include the forthcoming “Map Ownership in England, 1660-1760” (Imago Mundi) and “The Culture of Maps in England, 1660-1760” at the Northeast Conference on British Studies, Endicott College (2017).