Colloquium: Virtual Realities: Mapping Fictional Spaces


Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 3:00pm


Houghton Library, Edison and Newman Room

Houghton library presents a colloquium to celebrate its latest major exhibition “Landmarks: Maps as Literary Illustration.”

Presented by: Houghton Library
Admission: Admission Free: Tickets Required. RSVP Here

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James Joyce’s novel Ulysses depicts precise coordinates of time and space—June 16, 1904, Dublin—while John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is temporally imprecise and geographically oneiric. Yet both works have encouraged later efforts to create spatially sophisticated representations of their worlds, which speakers at this Houghton panel will discuss. A team at Boston College is developing a virtual reality version of Ulysses called “Joycestick” that allows players to enter the interior world of the novel off the page. Over the four-century history of its reprinting, Pilgrim’s Progress has inspired numerous literary cartographers to map its uncertain terrain. On the spectrum from realism to allegory, how do both these works succeed as mapped literature? Moreover how is reading a book mapping it and how does one read a literary map?

Themes: Digital Humanities; Cartography, Realism and Allegory in Texts; Mapping as Illustration.


3.00-4.15 pm: Colloquium

4.15-5 pm: Reception and viewing of the exhibition “Landmarks: Maps as Literary Illustration”