Chicago Map Society Meeting Notes

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to present one of my dissertation chapters to the Chicago Map Society at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Jim was kind enough to point out in his introduction that, although I have been a member of the society since 2011, this was my first time actually attending a meeting… but it definitely won’t be my last! The Chicago Map Society hosts a range of speakers on many interesting topics.

Here’s the handy advertisement postcard that they sent out for the talk:


For those who couldn’t make it, I’ve recorded a version of the talk: “‘To hell and gone:’ Cartoon Maps of Alaska since 1867.” It’s about 25 minutes long, with lots of pictures of maps and cartoons and cartoon maps (what I call “carto-caricatures,” and you may quote me). I promise I’m much funnier and more enthusiastic in person, but I figured if I ever want to launch a podcast, I’d better start practicing.

I’m sure you’re wondering: who is she wearing?!


 Photo by ELM.

I’d like to give a shout out to Grandma for the lovely homemade nautical map skirt (WITH POCKETS), JKZ for finding the fabric, SS for the map-on-Scrabble-piece necklace, ELM for the socks and shoes (not pictured) and lunch, NYC for the giant yellow bag, Gram Rose for the jacket, HP for taking me shopping for the blouse, Jim Jim for the rings, TRM for the bracelet, and EZH for the earrings.

Everyone was very impressed by the pocketed skirt – they said it was a nice response to the male speaker tradition of wearing map neckties. Luckily, I dragged my Grandma along so she could collect compliments.

Thank you to everyone who helped me practice, made it out to the Newberry, asked questions or offered comments, and hosted me for dinner afterward! It was great to meet the other members of the Chicago Map Society. I couldn’t have asked for a better first meeting!

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