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The Lost Land of LemuriaFabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories$
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Sumathi Ramaswamy

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240322

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240322.001.0001

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Mapping Loss

Mapping Loss

(p.182) Chapter 6 Mapping Loss
The Lost Land of Lemuria

Sumathi Ramaswamy

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on cartographic labors of loss, as its place-makers attempt to map Lemuria. The maps of Lemuria considered here are instances of cartographic labors of loss undertaken to facilitate a spatial knowledge and cognitive understanding of vanished place-worlds and disappeared lands. Even as they bear testimony to the deployment of modern science in the service of loss, maps of Lemuria are also telltale signs of the modernity of the labors of loss that have produced them. It is only with modernity that the map emerges as a guarantor of geographical reality, standing in for a given territory even when that territory might not exist. This, then, is one of the primary reasons for the map's popularity in Lemuria's place-making. It enables one to mobilize the certitude guaranteed by modern cartographic practice in the service of their varied labors of loss.

Keywords:   modernity, Lemuria, place-makers, disappeared lands, geographical reality, map

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