The Trustees of the International Society for the History of the Map invites applications the VII ISHMap Symposium and II Workshop in July 2023 at the MPIWG in Berlin, Germany.

Register for the Symposium

ISHMap Symposium and Workshop- 2023
Intersections in Map History
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Berlin, Germany
July 10-14, 2023

We are delighted to welcome proposals to participate in the International Society for the History of the Map (ISHMap) Symposium and Workshop during the week of July 10, 2023, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, Germany. The Symposium is open to all working in the history of cartography. The Workshop welcomes applications from professionals at the early stages in academic and public careers.

Applications are open to October 31, 2022 for individual papers, panels and roundtables or other proposed sessions; review and acceptance will occur by January 2023.  Additional details about the symposium program and associated activities are forthcoming.

CFP: Symposium / Apply: Workshop
Deadline: October 31, 2022

A two-day Workshop (July 10-11) for early career professionals (scholars, curators, archivists, and librarians) working in the history of cartography, will precede the Symposium. Hands-on activities led by four experts in the field may include work with the MPIWG’s collection of Chinese maps and discussions on developing digital humanities projects, as well as sessions focusing on the themes of color in map scholarship. 

The Symposium (July 12 keynote and General Meeting; July 13-14 sessions), focusing on Intersections in Map History, particularly welcomes proposals that connect to two themes that benefit from the research context and facilities of the MPIWG: “materiality” and cross-cultural research. The first theme calls attention to the importance of material attributes of maps, such as constraints that may be overlooked as scholars work increasingly with digitized sources.  The second encourages dialogue and exchange between scholars working with comparable questions, sources or methodologies across different geographic spaces and contexts. Proposals that address or inspire comparative approaches in map history will be especially welcome. 

Building on the successful 2022 Symposium and Workshop held in Montevideo, Uruguay, we are pleased to plan an in-person event, with limited opportunities to contribute online. ISHMap does not anticipate charging a fee for the Symposium.

Funding (for economy travel and lodging) will be awarded upon a competitive basis to a select number of emerging scholars and researchers with limited institutional support. We encourage participants without institutional support to apply for travel funding provided by other institutions; click here for a list of possibilities of which we are aware.

For information about travel to and within Germany, as well as venue location and possible lodging, a Practical Information page will be available on ISHMap’s website closer to the event dates.


October 31, 2022: Application deadline for Symposium and Workshop.
January 2023: Acceptances delivered.
May 1, 2023: Registration for participants closes.
June 1, 2023: Final program available online
July 1, 2023: Registration for non-participants (attendees) closes.

July 10-11, 2023 (all day): ISHMap Workshop II (2023)
Harnack House, Max Planck Society conference site
July 12, 2023 (afternoon): Symposium Keynote and ISHMap General Meeting (hybrid),
initial symposium sessions (in person), Staatsbibliothek (Unter den Linden)
July 13-14, 2023 (all day): ISHMap VII Symposium (in person),
Harnack House, Max Planck Society conference site
July 15, 2023: Tentative post-event field trip

All ISHMap members are invited to attend and participate in the General Meeting, at which 2023-2024Trustees will be elected.


Founded in 1994, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin is one of more than 80 research institutes administered by the Max Planck Society in the sciences and humanities. The Institute has become an internationally recognized center of the history of science and technology studies, exploring links between the history of science and the history of cartography, including in the fields of local co-hosts Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann and Diana Lange, in East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) and Tibetan cartography and the study of color on maps.[1]

The MPIWG offers excellent meeting conditions, including a fully accessible and equipped conference room which seats up to 80 persons, a smaller seminar room, library and several areas with seating for breaks and refreshments (see  The Institute has a staff experienced in hosting academic events, and free high-speed and reliable internet, which could support a mixed-format (hybrid) event format.  The MPWIG is connected to Berlin’s excellent public transportation system, and is in a green residential area (Berlin-Dahlem) with two magnificent parks in the vicinity of the conference venue.  Onsite accommodation for conference participants will be offered at Harnack House, and additional housing suggestions will be available in early 2023.  As well as the well-known museums of Berlin, map collections in Berlin and in other German cities that may be of interest to the ISHMap participants, include the collection of the Map Reading Room of the Berlin State Library and MPIWG East Asian map collection and study programs on the Chinese local gazetteers (Difangzhi 地方志) – a voluminous corpus of primary sources on various aspects of territorial administration of the Chinese Empire, including maps..


Jordana Dym, Skidmore College (US), Chair, ISHMap Trustees
Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann, CNRS (France); MPIWG (Germany)
Diana Lange, Centre for the Studies of Manuscript Cultures, Universität Hamburg (Germany)

[1] Dorofeeva-Licthman is coordinator of Translating Terroirs: East Asia between Autochthonous and European Cartographic Language (2019-2022), for which Dagmar Schäfer, Director of the Dept. III of the MPIWG, is Principal investigator. Lange is principal investigator of the research project Maps as Knowledge Resources and Mapmaking as Process: The Case of the Mapping of Tibet at the Centre for the Studies of Manuscript Cultures/ Universität Hamburg. She was co-convener of “Maps and Colours” workshop and lecture series (2020) and co-curator of the exhibition “Colour meets map” at the Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg (August 2021–May 2022).

View of the city of Berlin, ca. 1716.

About the Maps.

The banner map, a plan of Berlin, is from a copy of the cartographer and engraver Johann Homan’s Atlas Novus Terrarum Orbis Imperia Regna et Status Exactis Fabulis Geographice Demonstrans (1716). Below the plan, a view of the city brings it to life.