Event—Public Programming

Cartography, Ethnography, and Games of Empire: Approaches to Early Modern English Geographical Playing Cards


In this colloquium, Jennifer Park raises some questions about the cartographic and ethnographic implications of an early modern English phenomenon of geographical playing cards, presenting a comparative look at a few English decks spanning the 17th to the 19th centuries, from the Newberry collection and elsewhere, and exploring the Newberry’s holdings in cartographic, travel, and ethnographic material. How do we read image, text, material object, and desire for empire in English decks in which “the Hearts describe Europe, the Diamonds Asia, the Spades Africa, and the Clubs America” (with little variation) and a portrait of an English king leads the pack as the King of Hearts?