From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame

From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow How Maps Name Claim and Inflame Brassiere Hills Alaska Mollys Nipple Utah Outhouse Draw Nevada In the early twentieth century it was common for towns and geographical features to have salacious bawdy and even derogatory names

  • Title: From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame
  • Author: Mark Monmonier
  • ISBN: 9780226534657
  • Page: 315
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Brassiere Hills, Alaska Mollys Nipple, Utah Outhouse Draw, Nevada In the early twentieth century, it was common for towns and geographical features to have salacious, bawdy, and even derogatory names In the age before political correctness, mapmakers readily accepted any local preference for place names, prizing accurate representation over standards of decorum Thus,Brassiere Hills, Alaska Mollys Nipple, Utah Outhouse Draw, Nevada In the early twentieth century, it was common for towns and geographical features to have salacious, bawdy, and even derogatory names In the age before political correctness, mapmakers readily accepted any local preference for place names, prizing accurate representation over standards of decorum Thus, summits such as Squaw Tit which towered above valleys in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California found their way into the cartographic annals Later, when sanctions prohibited local use of racially, ethnically, and scatalogically offensive toponyms, town names like Jap Valley, California, were erased from the national and cultural map forever From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow probes this little known chapter in American cartographic history by considering the intersecting efforts to computerize mapmaking, standardize geographic names, and respond to public concern over ethnically offensive appellations Interweaving cartographic history with tales of politics and power, celebrated geographer Mark Monmonier locates his story within the past and present struggles of mapmakers to create an orderly process for naming that avoids confusion, preserves history, and serves different political aims Anchored by a diverse selection of naming controversies in the United States, Canada, Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, and Antarctica on the ocean floor and the surface of the moon and in other parts of our solar system From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow richly reveals the map s role as a mediated portrait of the cultural landscape And unlike other books that consider place names, this is the first to reflect on both the real cartographic and political imbroglios they engender From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow is Mark Monmonier at his finest a learned analysis of a timely and controversial subject rendered accessible and even entertaining to the general reader.

    One thought on “From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame”

    1. Reading this, I was reminded of driving past markers for "Negro" Mountain, Pennsylvania in May (it was in HONOR of the slave who saved everyone from Indians, but whose name no one bothered to actually recall, HONOR, I tell you!)--this study recounts the eccentric means by which geographic locations acquire names that later generations find horrifying (Frozen Dog Road), racist (Negro Mountain) or otherwise unacceptable for property development (Whorehouse Meadows) and the debates about changing t [...]

    2. Synopsis: The book is a deep look into how places are named and what the government is doing (and has done) to remove inflammatory and derogatory place-names from official maps. The book dives into names based on derogatory terms (negro, nigger, chink, etc) and sexual in nature (nipple, tit, teat, etc.). Also explored is how places are named in Antarctica, the ocean floor, the moon and Mars.My Review: As I expected, this is a fairly in-depth educational book with an eye-catching title. I quite e [...]

    3. Repetitive, the 1st three chapters really could be combined & cut into one, so much is repeated & the themes of each are not easily distinguished from each other. From the 3rd chapter on the book picks up, and the comparisons between toponyms in the East & West of the U.S as well as state-by-state comparisons of different racial, ethnic, & sexual placenames was intriguing. More fascinating for me was when he discussed place-naming in an imperialistic or militaristic context, when [...]

    4. This book offers good general orientation in applied toponymy, and has some nice examples. I will draw on its anecdotes when discussing toponyms with my students. The title is more appropriate to the first half of the book, which chronicles swearing, racial slurs and toilet talk in place names, and US federal efforts to deal with them. The second half discusses other areas of contentious naming, as in disputed territory, for example, or (another kind of disputed territory) in Indian Country. Set [...]

    5. Despite the unpromising title, FROM SQUAW TIT TO WHOREHOUSE MEADOW: HOW MAPS NAME, CLAIM, AND INFLAME is actually a fascinating account of place names and how they develop, particularly in the United States. The author, who holds a Chair in Geography at Syracuse University, discusses among other things the difficulties of developing a national gazetteer, how names change when perceived to be offensive or obscene, and how they can be used as propaganda in territorial disputes.

    6. Came across as an amusing collection of anecdotes paired with an explanation of a little-known function of government bureaucracy. Occupies an uncomfortable space between something intended for scholars and something intended for the general reader. Points, though, for refusing to name-check Foucault just because he could.

    7. This book is about toponyms--the names we give things on maps. It's brilliant in that it exposes all the political/social underpinnings of how and why places are named. Racism/classism/nationalism all on full display. Not too techie, eithera good read. I might have picked this up even if it hadn't been for the thesis.

    8. The only cool part was knowing there are actually places called "niggerheadpoint" and "squaw" related names in the US. Most of it was utterly useless knowledge and I hope my brain does not contain too much information, but enough to pass my final. This was super duper to the maximum extreme boring.

    9. The reviews made this book sound far more interesting than it was. It was a pretty pedestrian read on the topic of names and how people handle/change controversial ones. It had potential.

    10. I was a geography major and found this book reasonably interesting but I don't think it's exciting enough for a general audience.

    11. The title is obviously ment to inflame, but it is an exaple of the amazing names that still exist on the maps of this country. Facsinating.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *