Geolocating Little Magazines: Some Thoughts on the Value of Mapping Technologies and Periodical Studies

Anouk Lang, Lecturer
School of Humanities (English Studies)
University of Strathclyde

The digitization of literary texts and periodicals brings with it exciting possibilities, including the ability to create visualizations of places and trajectories using mapping technologies. However, such mapping also has the potential to be somewhat perilous, as researchers need to invest significant amounts of time without always being certain in advance about the intellectual benefits that will result. In this paper, I ask what it means to map place in relation to little magazines – places of publication, places mentioned, places whose broader imaginative pull is attested to by depictions of travel and tourism – and consider not only how, but also why, and when, it is worth going to the trouble of geocoding texts from literature, literary history and book history. I take several little magazines from Canada and Australia associated with modernism, and use them as case studies to explore what can be discovered from geographical visualization, and to suggest particular kinds of data, and text, that are especially beneficial to bring within the ambit of this kind of methodological approach. I will also examine some existing literary GIS projects in order to consider what they are able to add to our understanding of literary texts and literary history.

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