Tag: mapping

Creative Cartography: The City as Site of Cultural Production

Susanna Horng
New York University

Gallery Project Statement

This digital pedagogy presentation explores the use of ESRI Story Maps in a core writing course to synthesize primary and secondary research, to visualize data, to present an interactive, city-based narrative, and to create a digital humanities project early in the undergraduate experience.

ESRI Story Maps, which uses ArcGIS software, enables students to integrate maps with written text, images, videos, links, and sound in an online environment. This web application provides a rich, multilayered platform for students to flex their creativity and critical thinking.

The assignment asked students to design and research their own Story Map projects on a subject of their choice and to develop narratives at the intersection of place, location, geography, and culture over a two-month period. Students worked with Data Services Specialists from the university library to learn the ESRI Story Maps software, then workshopped their prototypes multiple times in small groups and with the entire class before presenting their final projects at the end of the semester.

This slide presentation features examples of student research projects, including policy brutality against women of color, the interrogation of blackness, and non-profit organizations supporting victims of child sex trafficking.

Visualising Everyday Colonial Commemoration: Digitally Mapping Settler-Colonial Commemoration

Bryan Smith
James Cook University

In this paper presentation, using the example of a small Australian city, I argue that the naming practices that give form to local cartographies serves to render colonial dominion over space and the past seemingly part of the natural spatial order. Inspired by Maoz Azaryahu’s (2009a; 2009b) notion of the “city-text” – the idea that the odonymic (street naming) selections in a community narrate a particular historical story of the past – I explore how settler contexts use and create mapped space as a commemorative stage, one where colonial might is written into the spatial backdrop of everyday life. To illustrate this, I present a web based map that plots out and surfaces the colonial naming and “city-text” of Townsville, Queensland to demonstrate and critique the symbolic and material normalisation of settler conquest and what historian Tim Stanley (2009) calls the “banality of colonialism” in everyday life. Further, I argue that this has meaningful consequences for how we anchor historical narrative into place; by writing conquest into every (literal) corner of the urban landscape, place comes to glorify European efforts at dispossession and the resultant Indigenous “ontological homelessness” (Moreton-Robinson 2003; Watson 2009).

Slavery in the Bronx: Mapping, Advocacy, and Genealogy in a Digital Public History Project

Adam Arenson
Manhattan College

This short paper draws on the experience of the community-engaged learning course on Slavery in the Bronx at Manhattan College. This digital public history course began by learning about the unmarked slave burial grounds in both Drake Park, in Hunts Point, and in Van Cortlandt Park, a former wheat plantation, and the work done to date by fourth-grade students, their teachers, Van Cortlandt House Museum curators, and dedicated local historians. Manhattan College students worked to map the sites of slavery in today’s Bronx, and conducted genealogical research to find descendants of those once enslaved in the Bronx. This paper discusses their progress to date, plans for another version of the class this fall, the legacies of slavery that are often forgotten in northern states, the ongoing injustices facing residents of the Kingsbridge and Hunts Point neighborhoods, and the chance for these acts of memorialization to provide a foundation for critiquing injustice, then and now.

Mapping Feminicide

Helena Suárez Val
Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
University of Warwick

Feminicide names the gender-related violent deaths of women, the tip of the iceberg in a continuum of violence that is “terrorising women” in the Americas (Fregoso and Bejarano 2010). Latin America and the Caribbean has been named “the most violent [region] in the world for women” (UNDP and UN Women 2017) and feminist activists have been responding to this ongoing crisis by intensifying activism on the issue. As well as mass protests, performances, hashtag campaigns, community organising, and other actions, feminist activists across Latin America have been denouncing feminicide by creating digital cartographies of the violence, including my own project mapping feminicide in Uruguay (feminicidiouruguay.net). In this short paper, I share an investigation where I put into dialogue affect and emotion theories, conceptualisations of feminicide, and scholarship that reclaims quantitative and geographic methods for feminist research and activism, to propose that digital maps of feminicide constitute feminist affect amplifiers: interactive digital artefacts through which data about cases of feminicide –modulated through feminist knowledges, emotions, and affects– are recirculated in/to the world. This practice of creating feminist data visualisations can be understood as part of an affective politics oriented to generating change in personal and political responses to feminicide. A politics hoping to end violence against women.