Vera V. Dorofeeva-Lichtmann is Chargé de Recherche Hors Classe at the UMR 8173 Chine-Corée-Japon, CNRS-EHESS (2015–2017 Deputy Director) and since January 2019 also associated member of the research group “Epistémologie et Histoire de la Géographie,” UMR 8604 Géographie-cités. She received her PhD in history from the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University in 1992.
Together with Dagmar Schaefer, Vera co-directed the three-year research project “Translation Terroirs,” hosted by the MPIWG. She also coordinated a related French-Taiwanese project “Formal Analysis of Filiation of Pre-modern Maps of East Asia: the Case of Maps of Japan by Daikokuya Kōdayū (1751–1828),” PHC ORCHID 2019–2020.
She has been awarded several Alexander-von-Humboldt research fellowships (1996–1998, renewed in 2011 and 2017) and was a visiting fellow at the National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan, 2014), the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities (IKGF, Erlangen, December 2015–December 2016), Zhejiang University (PRC, May 2018), and, prior to the beginning of the “Translation Terroirs” project, a Visiting Scholar at the MPIWG (October–November 2017, September–October and December 2018). Most recently, she has secured a one-year research fellowship at the CHRONOI program of the Einstein Center (starting 2024).
Her initial domain of research is the basic concepts of terrestrial space in the emerging Chinese Empire, as derived from transmitted and manuscript texts dating from the Warring States period through the Han dynasty, ca. fifth century BCE–second century CE. Gradually she became interested in traditional East Asian maps, as an essential visual aid for comprehending early spatial concepts in the sinographic world, and in the amazing, yet often overlooked vitality of some of these concepts that continued to influence East Asian cartography up to the end of the nineteenth century. Her current interest is the elaboration of formal methods for investigating diagrammatic maps (working term) that do not rely on cartographic projection and are not drawn to scale. One of the outcomes would be a method of reliable reconstruction of filiation of congener maps.
Between June 29 and June 30, 2023, Vera is taking part in the international workshop “Humans and their Natural Environment: Astronomy and Agriculture in Early Chinese Excavated Manuscripts.” Alongside the president of the International Society for the History of the Map (ISHMAP), Diana Dym (Skydmore College), and Diana Lange (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Vera is co-oragnizing the 7th Symposium and the 2nd Workshop of ISHMAP (ISHMAP-2023), which will take place at the MPIWG from July 10 to July 14, 2023.
International Society for the History of the Map (ISHMap) Symposium VIIMORE
International Society for the History of the Map (ISHMap) Workshop IIMORE
Empire under the Night Sky: The Role of Fenye (Astrological Contents) in Late Imperial ChinaMORE
Typologies of East Asian Maps in a Global PerspectiveMORE
Theoretical and Methodological Approaches on the History of CartographyMORE
Analysis of Pre-Modern Maps of East Asia: Methods and ApproachesMORE
Re-discovered Manuscript Map of the Chinese Empire by Li Mingche 李明徹(1751–1832) from the Göttingen State and University LibraryMORE