Dr. James Akerman (CV) is the Director of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and Curator of Maps at the Newberry Library. He has published widely on the social and political aspects of mapping, most especially transportation and travel cartography and the history of atlases. He has edited or co-edited four collections of essays, most recently The Imperial Map: Cartography and the Mastery of Empire (2009) and (with Robert Karrow) Maps: Finding Our Place in the World (2007). Akerman has directed or co-directed ten NEH Summer Seminars or Seminars and has curated many exhibitions, including Maps: Finding Our Place in the World at Chicago’s Field Museum (2007-08) and Ptolemy’s Geography and Renaissance Cartographers at the Newberry Library (2007-08). He also directed the creation of the Newberry’s award winning educational website, Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms.
Dr. Jordana Dym (CV) is a Professor of History at Skidmore College, as well as the Director of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative. She is author of From Sovereign Villages to National States: City, State and Federation in Central America, 1759-1838 (2006), as well as many articles on Central American history and the history of cartography. She recently coordinated two special issues on Enlightenment-era spatial practices: “Taking a Walk on the Wild Side; Experiencing the Spaces of Colonial Latin America,” Colonial Latin American Review (2012) and “Mapeando Patrias Chicas y Patrias Grandes: Cartografía e Historia Iberoamericana, Siglos XVIII-XX,” Araucaria 24 (2010). She was co-editor of Mapping Latin America; Space and Society, 1492-2000 (with K. Offen, University of Oklahoma, 2011) and co-author with Dr. Offen on “Maps and the Teaching of Latin American History,” Hispanic American Historical Review (2012). Her current book project, The World Displayed: The Cartography of Western Travel, 1450-1950, is under contract with the University of Chicago Press. She was a J.B. Harley Fellow in summer 2013, has held two NEH fellowships, the most recent at the John Carter Brown Library (2012), and was a fellow in Duke University ‘s Humanities Writ Large Program (2013-2014).
The Smith Center’s program assistant, Andrew Epps, is providing administrative support for the seminar. The library’s extraordinary reference and reading room staff, including Map Reference Librarian Patrick Morris and Will Hansen, Director of Reader Services, will provide an orientation to the library and its collections.