On the map: cartography expert lands prestigious fellowship

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Professor Imre Demhardt, a geographer and historian with an expertise in the history of cartography, has been named the new ST Lee Visiting Fellow. He will be based at the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, for five months from February to July.

A German citizen and former lecturer at the University of Technology at Darmstadt, Dr Demhardt currently holds the Garrett Chair within the transatlantic history PhD program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Internationally this is one of the few programmes offering a structured postgraduate degree in the history of cartography.

While with the SAS Dr Demhardt will conduct a series of free public lectures at the universities of Edinburgh, London and Oxford. Accepting the invitation-only Fellowship last autumn, Dr Demhardt professed himself ‘humbled’ to receive this prestigious fellowship.

‘I very much look forward, in Texan speak, to getting down to the Thames and cooling the seat of my saddle’, he said. ‘Having this opportunity to immerse for an extended time in the collections at the School of Advanced Study and its broader academic environment, will advance my current research and surely stimulate new ideas on the British and their cartographic claim of the world in the 19th century.’

Dr Demhardt is the author of several books and numerous articles and is fluent in English and German with some knowledge of French and Afrikaans. Although he is especially interested in post-enlightenment cartography, his wide-ranging pursuits in the field of exploration research, colonialism, and mapping led him to travel extensively all over the world, including stints of all together more than three years in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Roger Kain, CBE, FBA, Dean and Chief Executive of SAS, said: The ST Lee Fellowship is awarded to eminent scholars in the humanities who promote research through the global standing that they enjoy in their own field of inquiry and through their active engagement with the wider public. Dr Demhardt brings tremendous expertise and scholarship to the School not only in the history of cartography, but in 19th-and 20th-century colonialism and tourism’.

As a prominent figure in his field Dr Demhardt has helped coordinate cartographic conferences and exhibitions and has written a number of scholarly papers on post-Enlightenment exploration and cartography of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In addition he has helped produce reports on a variety of international consultancy projects including on boundary issues, and tourism in South Africa and currently serves as a co-editor of The History of Cartography Encyclopaedia, Vol. 5: Cartography in the Nineteenth Century.

ST Lee Visiting Professorship programme of public lectures, March–June 2015

12 March 2015, 15.30–17.00
Unveiling the earth’s face: August Petermann and the golden age of explorative cartography
University of Edinburgh, Old Library, Institute of Geography, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP
RSVP: mwilso18@staffmail.ed.ac.uk

9 June 2015, 17.30–19.00
Charting manifest destiny: 19th century exploration of the Trans-Mississippi West
Wolfson I Lecture Theatre, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1 (Jointly with the British Cartographic Society).
RSVP: sas.events@sas.ac.uk

11 June 2015, 17.00–18.30
From cosmopolitan exploration to Colonial penetration: Germany and the colonial turn in the cartography of Africa
University of Oxford, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG
RSVP: nick.millea@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Entry is free to the three lectures and all are welcome.


Notes for editors:

1. For further information please contact Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London +44 (0)20 7862 8653 / Maureen.mctaggart@sas.ac.uk. Images available on request.

2. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities and celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. It was officially opened on 15 March 1995, by Sir Anthony Kenny as a federation of the University of London’s research institutes and, since then, has established itself as the UK’s national humanities hub, publicly funded to support and promote research in the humanities nationally and internationally. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. In 2013-14, SAS: welcomed 743 research fellows and associates; held 2,081 research dissemination events; received 26.4 million visits to its digital research resources and platforms; and received 202,891 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. A series of anniversary events and activities will take place throughout 2015. Find out more at www.sas.ac.uk or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.

3. The ST Lee Professorial Fellowship has been made possible by a generous endowment by Dr ST Lee, of Singapore to the School of Advanced Study, University of London for the purpose of supporting research in London in any field relevant to the work of one or more of the School's ten research institutes and the Human Rights Consortium. The ST Lee Professorial Fellowship is awarded to eminent and distinguished scholars in the arts, humanities and social sciences who promote research in these areas through the global standing they enjoy in their own field of inquiry and through their active engagement with thbe wider public. ST Lee Fellows are invited to spend a period of between four and six weeks at the School of Advanced Study and during their stay to give a series of high profile lectures in London and elsewhere in the UK. These events provide an important opportunity to demonstrate the reach and significance of the arts, humanities and social sciences to the wider culture and to society at large.

4. Dr Imre Demhardt was appointed to the Virginia and Jenkins Garrett Chair in the History of Cartography and Greater Southwestern Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2008. He was born and raised in Wiesbaden, Germany where a Christmas present, the 1896 edition of Andree's Handatlas, sparked his lasting interest in the history of cartography. He studied Medieval and Modern History (M.A. 1987) and Geography (M.A. 1991, Ph.D. 1995) at Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in nearby Frankfurt am Main.