Maps in Popular Fiction (Panel)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies / Comparative Literature

Emily Lauer (SUNY Suffolk County Community College)

Maps bound in at the beginning of books can shape the reading of the book in a variety of ways. Whether they map continents and signal the sweeping world building of a high fantasy, or map an idyllic English village and signal a cozy murder mystery, both the scale and content of a map provides important information for a reader of fiction. This panel will consider the questions of genre raised (and perhaps answered) by prefacing fiction with maps, and also the various issues of intertextuality indicated by the presence of the map. For instance, is the map part of the packaging? Is it paratextual? Bound in as a page, does it reify text by providing the semblance of context? Does a map in fiction create an ideological claim, as it explains its characters by representing the world they inhabit? This panel welcomes papers that examine the importance of printed maps in popular fiction of a variety of genres and forms including mysteries, fantasies, and superhero stories in comics, novels, manga series, and more.

Maps bound in at the beginning of books can shape the reading of the book in a variety of ways. This panel will consider the questions of genre raised (and perhaps answered) by prefacing fiction with maps, and also the various issues of intertextuality indicated by the presence of the map. This panel welcomes papers that examine the importance of printed maps in popular fiction of a variety of genres and forms including mysteries, fantasies, and superhero stories in comics, novels, manga series, and more.