September 12, 2017

Leading spatial thinker, Parag Khanna, secured as keynote for the inaugural Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography at Stanford Libraries

Parag Khanna speaking at TED conference

The conference, hosted by the Libraries’ David Rumsey Map Center, is designed to inspire cartographic scholarship by exploring ways to expand the field through dialogue with experts whose foci extend beyond historical cartography. 

Stanford, CA—A little more than a year after opening its doors, the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Libraries announced it will host the Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography, a three-day conference to be held in the state-of-the-art map Center. The conference, which will be held every other year, will take place October 19 to 21, and is made possible by a generous gift established by Barry Lawrence Ruderman of La Jolla. 

Headlining the event is noted global strategist Parag Khanna, who has authored many books including Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization. According to Khanna, we’re accelerating into a future shaped less by countries than by connectivity, where the most connected powers, and people, will win. His book explains how 21st century conflict is a tug-of-war over pipelines and Internet cables, advanced technologies and market access, and less about physical borders. 

“Our goal with this conference is to add a new perspective to the current well-respected list of cartography conferences,” said G. Salim Mohammed, head of the David Rumsey Map Center. “Every other year the David Rumsey Map Center will be a destination for speakers, scholars, students and cartophiles to convene, discuss, debate and ultimately inspire new discoveries and uses of maps, atlases and technology.” 

Ruderman, a map and atlas dealer, is a longtime friend and supporter of Stanford Libraries. Since 2009, Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc. has contributed over 50,000 digital map images to the Stanford Digital Repository. When the Ruderman Conference opens, Stanford Libraries will release 20,000 of those maps through its online catalog, making them fully accessible as part of the Barry Lawrence Ruderman Collection. 

When the David Rumsey Map Center opened in April 2016, it did so to great applause and praise for how the Center emphasized the relationship between analog materials like globes, rare maps, and atlases, and cutting-edge technology. “Our intent was to create a ‘geo-garage,’ where students and scholars from all corners of campus could explore and exploit the material more broadly and deeper than was possible by simply handling objects,” said David Rumsey, map collector and namesake of Stanford’s map Center. “I am thrilled and honored that Barry has generously added this conference to the Center’s scholarly offering.” 

The Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography is open to the public and aims to encourage curious minds to explore the possibilities of cartography more deeply, and across many disciplines. “I wanted to create an event that intrigued the greatest minds across the globe to come together and either challenge conventional cartographic thinking or pose new questions that inspire interdisciplinary discussion and discovery,” said Ruderman. 

In addition to Khanna, a distinguished and diverse list of speakers fill the event schedule, including Chet Van Duzer, Madelina Veras, Mirela Altic, Edward Boyle and Junia Furtado. Tickets for the three-day conference are now available. Seating is limited. Registration includes admission to the opening night reception, access to all the talks and refreshments breaks during the conference. Student admission can be sponsored. For more information on sponsoring a student, please contact the Libraries’ Development Office at (650) 723-3866. For general conference information, please visit blrcc.stanford.edu or email blrcc-staff@lists.stanford.edu

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Program Contact: 

G. Salim Mohammed, 650-723-5100 | gsalim@stanford.edu