Maps and Mapping in Fiction
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HLT182
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
This online literature course explores some of the different relationships between maps, mapping, and fiction. We will explore how writers have supplemented their texts with illustrative maps, and deployed maps as symbols and plot devices. We will also take a look at how readers have mapped fictional worlds, and try our hand at mapping a fictional space for ourselves.
Laurie McRae Andrew has previously taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he also completed his PhD. He is currently at work on a book about geography in David Foster Wallace’s novels. He specialises in contemporary fiction, and is especially interested in the relationships between literature, human geography, and the natural world.utor biography:.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
In the first of the two sessions, we will look at fictional texts that have included illustrative maps. We will discuss the role of these maps in building fictional worlds, and explore their narrative and symbolic functions. In the second session, we will look more broadly at how writing and reading fiction might be understood as forms of mapping, and how fictional texts invite — and sometimes resist — readers’ attempts to ‘map’ their settings. We will finish by drawing our own maps of a fictional setting, and reflecting on what kinds of cartography are prompted by fictional texts.
We will read short extracts from several texts across the two sessions. Authors encountered may include the likes of J. R. R. Tolkein, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, and Cormac McCarthy. Readings will be confirmed and provided ahead of the course.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Understand and discuss some of the key ways in which maps and mapping relate to fiction.
Read texts closely in an imaginative and exploratory way.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No particular skills or experience are required – you just need an enthusiasm for reading and thinking about fiction, and a willingness to discuss your ideas with the group.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Sessions will involve a combination of short tutor presentations, group discussion, and an individual map drawing exercise. No work outside the class will be necessary, although readings will be provided in advance should you wish to read ahead.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Digital copies of the readings will be provided. You will need to bring basic drawing materials (paper, pencil, pen, coloured pencils/pens) for the mapping exercise.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for other courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/history, culture and writing/literature.
Laurie McRae Andrew has previously taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he also completed his PhD. He is currently at work on a book about geography in David Foster Wallace’s novels. He specialises in contemporary fiction, and is especially interested in the relationships between literature, human geography, and the natural world.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.