Mapping and Countermapping
This hybrid practice-discourse course introduces students to the ideas, debates, and practices in critical cartography and digital geography. How, who, and towards what purposes are spatial relationships represented through maps? Throughout the semester, we will approach mapping with an emphasis on the ethos of countermapping to make more legible those perspectives, claims, and epistemologies that are generally underrepresented. We will also discuss how new mapping technologies and novel big data are shifting the mapping landscape, what new tensions and possibilities arise, and how these new tools supplant or reinforce existing power dynamics. Students will also “read” and critique maps that speak to each week’s theme in order to understand the design, information, context surrounding the creation of the map. Alongside our discussions, we will be learning tools and software to create our own narrative maps and countermaps, with the aim of using these in a final research project of students’ own choosing.