Topics for AGSL Fellows Range from Early Jesuit Travelogues to Hollywood Star Maps

details of map of China and map of Los Angeles

Five national and international scholars have been named American Geographical Society Library Fellows for 2023. Each will receive a stipend to travel to Milwaukee and conduct research at AGSL.

  • Xiangyi Lui, PhD candidate in history, Pennsylvania State University, will examine AGSL’s 18th-century Jesuit-produced maps, travelogues, and atlases, as well as materials created by non-Jesuit cartographers, for her project on Antoine Gaubil, a French Jesuit missionary in China, and the transmission of geographical knowledge through the Jesuit network 1650-1850.
  • Thomas Simsarian Dolan, American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS) Emerging Voice Fellow in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University, will research an early 20th-century employee of the American Geographical Society, Leon Dominian, and contemporaneous geographers who, Dolan says, still exert on outsize influence on geography and its relationship to indigeneity, particularly with reference to Armenia.
  • Patrick Ellis, assistant professor of communication, University of Tampa, will look at the AGSL’s holdings of Hollywood and Southern California tourist maps for his project — “Star Maps: Cartography and Fandom on the Margins”– to explain the links between lay cartography and a fan community.
  • Daniel Clayton, head of the School of Geography & Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews (UK), will conduct research in the American Geographical Society archives as part of his larger book project, ‘Geography in Decolonisation, c. 1945 – c. 1980.’
  • Andrew Salamone, an independent scholar, is working on a project analyzing American-led exploration expeditions to Tibet during the Gilded Age and their part in a global “frontier network.” At AGSL he will research the records of William W. Rockhill’s 1890 expedition, Francis H. Nichols’ failed 1903-04 attempt to explore Tibet, and Gene Lamb’s multiple expeditions in the 1920s and 1930s.

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 800,000 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.