"This land is your land; this land is my land": how maps shape our collective allegiance to territory and help us stake claims to individual ownership of it | University of Oxford

"This land is your land; this land is my land": how maps shape our collective allegiance to territory and help us stake claims to individual ownership of it

Speaker
Dr Elizabeth Baigent, Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment
Event date
Event time
13:00 - 13:45
Venue
Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford
OX1 3BG
Venue details

Weston Library lecture theatre, main entrance on Broad Street

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Recommended

Woody Guthrie’s famous 1940 song ‘This land is your land, this land is my land’ declared America to be for everyone: ‘this land was made for you and me’. Maps can help persuade us that a nation, empire, or city is ‘your land and my land’, that is, that we have a shared, territorially based, identity (for good or ill). But maps can also do the opposite. In a rarely sung political verse of his song, Guthrie protested that there ‘Was a high wall there that tried to stop me / A sign was painted said: Private Property’. Maps often help individuals stake a claim to property, making some of it ‘my land and not your land’. We explore how and to what effect maps make land your land and/or my land.