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Title: Between cartography and representation : borders and maps of early modern Bologna and Modena
Author: Carbonara, Miriana
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 4135
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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In the early modern period the border between the states of Modena and Bologna - cities under the control of the Este family and Papal State respectively - was marked by two main watercourses: the Panaro River and the Muzza canal. This generated an abundance of manuscript materials – drawings, maps, notes, chronicles – dealing with questions relating to water changes which in some parts made the border very unstable and, therefore, subject to continuous interventions to reinscribe political and administrative ownership. The maps, in particular, focus on the possibilities and frustrations of establishing and representing a definitive border, continuously challenged by the properties of water: its transparency, its motion and its instability; in other words its fluidity. By taking into account a variety of unpublished manuscript visual and textual documents, my research draws attention to how this material stresses the idea of the ‘border’ as a process. I explore attempts to define borders by water and the resultant ambiguities. In seeking to understand how the maps work visually, I draw attention to the tension between what can be represented and what escapes description, that which remains problematic, contingent and self-contradictory. In this paradox, I argue, the two sides of cartographic representation lie: the constant oscillation between opposites, between certainty/uncertainty, visibility/invisibility, opacity/transparency. My focus moves in between these opposites where instability, conversion and uncertainty acquire a distinct theoretical status. Thus, the analysis of the visible aspects of this ambiguity becomes an investigation into the problematic nature of representation itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available