Madalina Veres

Humanities Initiative Fellow
Period of Stay: 
September 2015 - June 2016
University of Pittsburgh, US
Project Title: 
Constructing Imperial Spaces: Habsburg Cartography in the Age of Enlightenment
Project Abstract: 

My doctoral thesis, “Constructing Imperial Spaces: Habsburg Cartography in the Age of Enlightenment,” examines the role of Habsburg cartography in the second half of the eighteenth century in the process of imperial expansion and consolidation. I analyze the production, circulation and use of large-scale topographic and border maps for the provinces of Transylvania, Lombardy and Austrian Netherlands, and show how cartography influenced the development of a new imperial identity and the process of state centralization. Based on archival sources located in Vienna, Brussels, Cluj-Napoca, Milan, Paris and Sibiu, I show how Maria Theresa’s and Joseph II’s desire to map their dominions led to the establishment of imperial corps of military engineers and the development of a network of scientific centers promoting the study of astronomy and geography. These mapmaking institutions and their cartographic production paved the way for the Habsburg monarchs’ military, economic and administrative reforms in the eighteenth century.

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