Meyer's dissertation at the Professorship of History and Cultures of Spaces in Modern Times at the University of Erfurt deals with visual knowledge production at the Gotha publishing house Justus Perthes from 1890 to 1945. After all, maps are versatile media: they are used to develop resources, plan military operations, symbolize political demands, present scientific findings, and decorate homes. They always convey a certain view of the world, which is also shaped by the cartographers and their visual knowledge. In the analysis of maps, however, these protagonists of worldview production often fall into the background.
Philipp Meyer places Hermann Haack (1872-1966) and Paul Langhans (1867-1952), two extremely productive cartographers, at the center of his study. In the first half of the 20th century, both made their mark on the most renowned contemporary German publisher of cartographic products: Justus Perthes in Gotha. Using Haack and Langhans as examples, Meyer examines how, in the age of the colonial movement and nationalist discourses, völkisch and racist patterns of interpretation were visually translated in maps.
In doing so, the relationship between politics and cartography is illuminated with regard to the connection between economic publishing interests and the visual design of maps.
Philipp Julius Meyer is a historian specializing in the history of cartography and was a doctoral candidate at the professorship for History and Cultures of Spaces in Modern Times at the University of Erfurt. Since 2020, he has been a research employee at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig. His work has been published by Wallstein Verlag in 2021.