Lecture / Reading

Mappaemundi as Self-Portrait: Deference and Dissidence in the Worlds of Guaman Poma and Urbano Monte

Sponsored by Stanford University Libraries, David Rumsey Map Center


Friday, October 23, 2020
2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Add to my calendar


Online via Zoom

Contact via email

This event is open to:

Event Details:

The California Map Society, in partnership with the David Rumsey Map Center, sponsors a student essay competition each year. The essay winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000. The winner for the 2019-20 competition is Arman Kassam. We are delighted that he will be speaking on his winning essay and is our speaker for October.

In this online talk, Arman plans on discussing the fascinating intersections between two different amateur cartographers on separate ends of the early 16th-century Spanish Empire. The stories of Urbano Monte, a Milanese nobleman engaged in a personal project concerning universal knowledge, and Guaman Poma, a Quechua nobleman who subversively asserted his right to territory in the Nueva Corónica, intertwine in unexpected ways. Both came from noble lineages, lived in territories recently brought under Habsburg control, and cared deeply about humanist erudition. Importantly, both also found in the world map a useful medium for their projects of political power and erudition. Rather than merely showing the differences of their interests, these amateur world maps reflect back on their authors as self-portraits, testaments to individuals finding themselves in an ever-globalizing world.

2:45pm PT: Zoom opens
3:00-4:15pm PT: Talk by Arman Kassam, followed by Q&A

Please register using the RSVP form linked at left.

Arman Kassam is a junior at Stanford, majoring in History and prospectively minoring in Iranian Studies. He is passionate about a handful of things: cartography, The Lord of the Rings, traditional Gujarati dance, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. He currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with his parents and - to his utter delight - his two dogs, Storm and Smokey.

This talk is hosted by the David Rumsey Map Center and co-sponsored by the California Map Society.