Mapping Writing: Literary and Cultural Topographies

The extraordinary facility and ubiquity of GPS systems, notably as applied in Google Maps, is enriching basic geographical awareness beyond all measure. MappingWriting is a scholarly website which enables students and researchers to create maps of cultural topographies in particular works, mapping the places represented, the journeys taken, and the geo-cultural references within works, and to correlate them with the places inhabited and visited by their authors.

The current site is a test-bed enabling us to research the need for new tools and procedures as we attempt to map different kinds of text. We therefore very much welcome comments from our users about the kinds of representation and tools which are desired.

Mapping Writing is being developed under the auspices of The Literary Encyclopedia which is available by individual or institutional subscription. All information and procedures published on the site are copyright© to The Literary Encyclopedia.

The site is being developed by Robert Clark of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and Kirsti Bohata and the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales at the University of Swansea. They are supported by Ian Gregory and David Cooper of the University of Lancaster who have developed Mapping the Lakes with Sally Bushell.

Software improvements to both the production aspect and the reader aspect are planned for October 2011-March 2012.

We would be very pleased if colleagues would like to map literary works within MappingWriting, perhaps working with their students under scholarly guidance.


Robert Clark (RobertClark [at] or Kirsti Bohata (K.Bohata [at]


We are hosting a section at the European Society for the Study of English Conference in Istanbul, 4-8 September 2012, and are interested in receiving proposals for papers which are of particular relevance to this location, and / or which develop our understanding of literary topography more generally. (Our primary interest at this conference is in literature written in English, but the interests of the site recognise no cultural boundaries.)

We are planning to host a major conference on literary topography in 2013 and contributing to a major conference of Association for Welsh Writing in English in Swansea in 2013. We welcome proposals for either event.


We are preparing a bibliography on literary topography and welcome suggestions. Works concerned with the general issues, such as Franco Moretti's Atlas and Hillis Miller's Topographies are obvious candidates, but we also wish to list exemplary articles and books which discuss the relation of descriptions to maps, mapping and cultural topography.