Navigating Venice’s Literary Nightscapes through Post-Representational Mapmaking


  • Giuseppe Tomasella Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World, University of Padua, Padua, Italy


This paper investigates post-representational mapmaking as a co-constitutive element of a research-through-practice experience, namely a phenomenographic drawing session conducted in Venice, Italy. Contributing to a broader geo-literary investigation, the research experience aims to evaluate a creative method developed to collect data about the roles and functions of literary texts in nightscapes’ co-production processes. Nightwalking, drawing phenomenographic sketches and the recollection of (literary) memories are the primary components of a set of repeated actions constituting the method of the research-through-practice experience. Finally, sketches work with an autoethnographic text built around fieldnotes to report as much information as possible. While re-elaborating this research experience, post-representational mapmaking emerged as a relevant tool with which to reorganise and interpret data. During this process, a map—or rather, an open-ended layer of a complex map of Venice’s literary nightscapes—has emerged, allowing for meaningful reflection. On the one hand, the map provides a synoptic outline of the research experience, connecting nightscape sketches and literary memories on a single sheet of paper. On the other, it points out the relevance of hitherto unmapped elements, such as materiality, itinerary and other literary texts, to further develop the analysis of nightscapes’ co-production processes.


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Mapping societies (ed. by Laura Lo Presti and Matteo Marconi)