Imaging and Mapping Eastern Europe Sarmatia Europea to Post-Communist Bloc
Imaging and Mapping Eastern Europe puts images centre stage and argues for the agency of the visual in the construction of Europe’s east as a socio-political and cultural entity. This book probes into the discontinuous processes of mapping the eastern European space and imaging the eastern European body. Beginning from the Renaissance maps of Sarmatia Europea, it moves onto the images of women in ethnic dress on the pages of travellers’ reports from the Balkans, to cartoons of children bullied by dictators in the satirical press, to Cold War cartography, and it ends with photos of protesting crowds on contemporary dust jackets.
Studying the eastern European ‘iconosphere’ leads to the engagement with issues central for image studies and visual culture: word and image relationship, overlaps between the codes of othering and self-fashioning, as well as interaction between the diverse modes of production specific to cartography, travel illustrations, caricature, and book cover design.
This book will be of interest to scholars in art history, visual culture, and central Asian, Russian and Eastern European studies.
1. Welcome to Slaka; 2. Mapping Eastern Europe; 3. The Lure of the Ethnic Dress: Eastern Europe in the Traveller’s Gaze; 4. Mr Punch Draws Eastern Europe; 5. The Battle of the Dust Jackets; 6. Farewell to Slaka
"[The book] thoughtfully traces the shifting meanings of folk dress, or specifically the female ‘ethnic body’ clothed in folk dress, across three centuries … [and it] shows how images of maps and bodies worked in tandem as the primary sites of the visual production of knowledge, producing ‘Eastern Europe’ as an imagined place. … [The author] gestures very strongly to how LGBTQ (self-)representation can encompass visual strategies of dissent."
-- Oxford Art Journal
"Studying the eastern European 'iconosphere' leads to the engagement with issues central for image studies and visual culture: word and image relationship, overlaps between the codes of othering and self-fashioning, as well as interaction between the diverse modes of production specific to cartography, travel illustrations, caricature, and book cover design. This book will be of interest to scholars in art history, visual culture, and central Asian, Russian and Eastern European studies."
--New Book Network
"Through her sophisticated translation of images into vocabularies and language into pictorial imagination, Murawska-Muthesius detangles a complex web of codes accumulated in the Western lingua franca of CEE."
"[The book] intends to fill a gap by focusing not on the artistic process itself but on the results, and to approach this not through the theoretical and critical text but through the discussion of visuals. This inquiry refreshes our knowledge and places the book alongside the research carried out at the German Historic Center for Art History and also alongside the work of Piotr Piotrowski, both of which the author mentions as particularly stimulating. By placing her work alongside those mentioned above, the author presents an original point of view."
--H-SHERA, H-Net Reviews
"Reaching as far back as renaissance renderings of Ptolemy’s knowledge of the area, then marked as ‘Sarmatia Europea,’ the author shows how the region of ‘Eastern Europe’ changed its borders, meanings, content and how the maps reflected the knowledge, assumptions, but also the ideology of their makers."
-- Tokovi Istorije
"The book is situated at the crossroads of several disciplines in the rapidly changing field of visual studies, and thus can open up exciting new avenues for research."
"The author follows diverse western tropes associated with Europe’s East, contextualising them within historical discourses about the region, and setting them against her excellent analyses of images from the margins of visual culture, including cartoons. "
"This is certainly a book to awaken an interest in the power of images as a whole well as a fresh look at much that had already been written on maps but through the lens of eastern Europe."
--The Cartographic Journal
"The achievement of the book resides firstly in its presentation of the continuity of this otherness from humanist figural allegory to post-communist identification, and secondly in its exploration of the strategies of its construction. ...The chapter on the visual illustration of travel texts, as well as the shortest chapter on dust jackets, are both original choices of subject matter in the sphere of visual culture and reveal the possibilities that such research opens up."
"The relevance of this publication lies with the way it examines Eastern Europe’s alterity in the visual media, where research so far concentrated in the analysis of literary topoi. The author never loses sight of visual culture studies’ premise of the specific functioning of images, that is, their medial difference from verbal language; on the contrary, it forms the leitmotiv of her study."