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Grant number like: FT-61909-14

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Katarzyna Lecky
Arkansas State University, Main Campus (Jonesboro, AR 72403-0600)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 7/31/2014

Poet Laureate Poetics and the Aesthetics of Pocket Maps in Renaissance Britain

For too long, British Renaissance cartography has been defined by imperial discourses. Branded as tools in service to the powerful, maps have only been able to tell a portion of their story. The same rings true for the era's poets laureate, who often appear in the annals of literary history as hegemonic mouthpieces whose writings mapped sovereign power onto the national landscape. My project places laureate poetics in conversation with the thriving Renaissance industry of miniature maps, atlases, and cartographic playing cards -- those inexpensive avatars of the modern pocket map built for heavy use by a broad audience. As poets in the pay of monarchs and magistrates gave voice to a real-world nation shaped by its cultural, political, and religious diversities, they tapped into the common language of the cheap maps used by ordinary individuals whose voracious consumption of these cartographic artefacts engendered visions of a Britain built by and for its people.