Sky in the Room: Maps from Quarantine


  • Eleonora Guadagno Dipartimento di Scienze Umane e Sociali, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Naples, Italy


This article aims to present and discuss the main results of an exercise carried out as part of a university course in Human Geography, which took place online in the period March-May 2020. Following the urge to represent the space perceived in the quarantine due to the lockdown period caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, about fifty students made themselves available to tell, through mental mapping, the transformations of their pre- and post-epidemic experience. After a brief introduction on the theoretical bases and the motivations of this specific assignment, we will analyze the elements highlighted by the students trying to offer a critical and contextual reading of how the subjective and contingent conditions interact with the relationships with the living space. The mental maps produced, therefore, will become the narrative tool to offer a reading of the time and space of modification in this particular and unprecedented situation. This condition has transformed external stimuli into mental contents by placing an emphasis on the relationships between individual and territory, relationships and perceptions of space.


Almalaurea, “Che profilo ha il laureato del tuo corso di laurea?”, 2020, https://www2. ?config=profilo.

Avriel-Avni N., Spektor-Levy O., Zion M. and Levi N.R., “Children’s sense of place in desert towns: a phenomenographic enquiry”, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19, 3, 2010, pp. 241-259.

Bailly A., “Distances et espaces: vingt ans de géographie des representations”, L’Espace géographique, 14, 3, 1985, pp. 197-205.

Bednarz S., Heffron S. and Huynh N. (Eds.), A Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education: Geography Education Research, Washington DC, American Association of Geographers, 2013.

Bernardo M. and De Pascale F., “Children’s Geographies. La rappresentazione mentaledei luoghi della memoria del Risorgimento in bambini di scuola primaria: il caso studio di Crotone”, Geotema, 57, 2018, pp. 102- 114.

Bignante E., “Guardare attraverso gli occhi degli altri”, Geotema, 41, 2010, pp. 39-49.

Boccaccio G., Decameron, in Branca V. (Ed.), Florence, Le Monnier, 1951.

Bozzato S. (Ed.), “Geografie del COVID- 19”, Documenti Geografici, 1, 2020.

Cataldo C., “COVID-19 in Italia: una Percezione Amplificata del Rischio?”, Josha, 7, 3, 2020, pp. 1-14.

Clary M., Dufau G., Durand R. and Ferras R., Cartes et modèles à l'école, Paris, Reclus Maison de la Géographie, 1987.

Claval P., “Methodology and geography”, Progress in Human Geography, 5, 1, 1981, pp. 97-103.

De Maistre J., Voyage autour de ma chambre, Turin, 1794.

De Vecchis G., “Covid-19: esiti della pandemia sulla rimodulazione spazio-temporale”, Documenti Geografici, 1, 2020, pp. 97-107.

De Vecchis G. and Morri R., Disegnare il mondo, Rome, Carocci, 2010.

Didelon C., de Ruffray S. and Grasland C., “Mental maps of students - Volume 3: Variations in the scale of the feeling of belonging”, Eurobroadmap – European Union & The World Seen From Abroad, 2011.

Downs R.M. and Stea D. (Eds.), Image & environment: Cognitive mapping and spatial behavior, Aldine, Transaction, 1973.

Eden C., “Analyzing cognitive maps to help structure issues or problems”, European Journal of Operational, 159, 3, 2004, pp. 673-686.

Frémont A., Vi piace la Geografia? (1976), trad. it. Gavinelli D., Rome, Carocci, 2015.

Gillespie C.A., “How culture constructs our sense of neighborhood: mental maps and children’s perceptions of place”, Journal of Geography, 109, 2010, pp. 18-29.

Giorda C., Il mio spazio nel mondo. Geografia per la scuola dell’infanzia e primaria, Rome, Carocci, 2014.

Gumuchian H., De l’espace au territoire, représentations spatiales et aménagement, Grenoble, Université Joseph Fourier, 1988.

Jackson P. and Smith S.J., Exploring social geography, London, Allen & Unwin, 1984.

Jenkins J.M. and Walmsley D.J., “Mental maps of tourists: A study of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales”, GeoJournal, 29, 1993, pp. 233-241.

Johnston R.J., Gregory D., Pratt G. and Watts M., The dictionary of human geography, Oxford, Blackwell, 2000.

Khanna P., Connectography. Le mappe del futuro ordine mondiale, Rome, Fazi, 2016.

Kitchin R. and Dodge M., “Rethinking maps”, Progress in Human Geography, 31, 3, 2007, pp. 331-344.

Knox P.L. and Marston S.A., Places and Regions in Global Context, Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall, 2004.

Lariagon R., “La carte mentale: un outil pour explorer la dimension territoriale de l’expérience étudiante? L’exemple des étudiants de licence de l’université technologique de Petatlán (Mexique)”, ESO Travaux et Documents, 2015.

Larsen T. and Harrington J., “Mental Maps and a Community-Based Sense of Place: A Case Study Among Kansas Third Graders”, Research in Geographic Education, 18, 2016, pp. 86-111.

Lewicka M., “What makes neighborhood different from home and city? Effects of place scale on place attachment”, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 1, 2010, pp. 35-51.

Longhurst R., “Geography and gender: looking back, looking forward”, Progress in Human Geography, 25, 4, 2001, pp. 641-648.

Löw M. and Knoblauch H., “Dancing in Quarantine: The Spatial Refiguration of Society and the Interaction Orders”, Space and Culture, 23, 3, 2020, pp. 221-225.

Lyman S.M. and Scott M.B., “Territoriality: A Neglected Sociological Dimension”, Social Problems, 15, 2, 1967, pp. 236-248.

Lynch K, The Image of the City, Cambridge, The MIT Press, 1960.

Manzo L.C. and Devine-Wright P. (Eds.), Place Attachment: Advances in Theory, Methods and Applications, Oxford and New York, Routledge, 2014.

MIUR, “Approvazione dei nuovi programmi didattici per la scuola primaria, dpR 104 del 12 febbraio 2018”, Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, 76, 29 marzo 1985, Rome.

Moles A. and Rohmer E., Psychologie de l’espace, Paris, Casterman, 1972.

Monmonier M., How to Lie with Maps, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Morri R., “Lo spazio dell’assenza: geografia e didattica a distanza di massa”, Documenti Geografici, 1, 2020, pp. 199-218.

Morrow J., “Alone Together: Finding Solidarity in a Time of Social Distance”, Space and Culture, 23, 3, 2020, pp. 315-319.

Pasquinelli d’Allegra D., La geografia dell’Italia, Rome, Carocci, 2009.

Portugali J., Complexity, Cognition and the City, Berlin, Springer, 2011.

Rumiz P., “Diario dalla quarantena”, 2020, ario%20dalla%20quarantena/.

Sarno E., “Emergenza sanitaria e chiusura di scuole e università. Il divario culturale come ulteriore effetto del covid-19”, Documenti Geografici, 1, 2020, pp. 219-229.

Sparke M. and Anguelov D., “Contextualising coronavirus geographically”, Transaction of the Institute British Geographers, 45, 2020, pp. 498-508.

Stevenson R.B., “Sense of place in Australian environmental education research: distinctive, missing, or displaced?”, Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 27, 1, 2011, pp. 46- 55.

Tuan Y., Topophilia: a study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Wood D., The Genesis of Geographic Knowledge: A Real-Time Developmental Study of Adolescent Images of Novel Environments (London, Rome, and Paris), Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University, 1973.

Wood D., The Power of Maps, New York, The Guilford Press, 1992.

Xiang Z. and Formica S., “Mapping Environmental Change in Tourism: A Study of the Incentive Industry”, Tourism Management, 28, 2007, pp. 1193-1202.