Schedule + Readings

Week 1: August 28: Introductions & Course Overview

CASE STUDIES

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September 4: NO CLASS: ROSH HASHANAH

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Week 2: September 11: Tubes & Wires, Cables & Waves

FIELD TRIP: Tour of “where the Internet lives” with Tubes author Andrew Blum. We’ll meet Andrew at 195 Broadway at 7:15pm, then, if time permits at the end of class, convene in a nearby bar for a debriefing. In case of inclement weather (check your email if the weather’s iffy that day!), we’ll reschedule for the following week.

READINGS

  • Kate Ascher, “CommunicationsThe Works: Anatomy of a City (New York: Penguin, 2005): 122-147.
  • Andrew Blum, Excerpt from Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet (New York: Ecco, 2012): 105-146.
  • Kazys Varnelis, “Centripetal CityCabinet 17 (Spring 2004/2005): 27-33. [Yes, there’s some overlap w/ Blum’s piece, but Varnelis provides a nice history of the networked form.]
  • Shannon Mattern, “Infrastructural TourismPlaces (July 1, 2013).
  • Optional: Shannon Mattern, “Puffs of Air: Communicating by Vacuum” In John Knechtel, Ed., Air (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010): 42-56.

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Week 3: September 18: Putting the Urban into Media Archaeology

ACTIVITY: Looking at Past Student Projects

GUESTS: Previous UMA students Brian Tyrseck (“Mapping the Deuce: The Transformation of 42nd Street”) & Farah Momin (“Independent Bookstores: Past & Present”) visit to discuss the front end and behind-the-scenes elements of their projects.

READINGS

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Week 4: September 25: Digital Humanities & Assessment Rubrics

READINGS

IN-CLASS CRITIQUE: Group critiques of multimodal projects, TBD – likely to include examples from Vectors, Scalar, Kairos, Sensate

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Week 5: October 2: Research Approaches

ACTIVITY: Presentations of Project Proposals

READINGS

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Week 6: October 9: Mapping Along X, Y, and Z Axes

URT: Creating Your Subprojects
FILM: Charles and Ray Eames, Powers of Ten

READINGS

  • James Corner, Excerpts (Intro, “The Agency of Mapping,” “Maps and Reality” & “Mapping Operations”) from “The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention” In Denis Cosgrove, Ed., Mappings (London: Reaktion, 1999): 213-217, 221-225, 229-231.
  • Jeremy W. Crampton and John Krygier, “An Introduction to Critical CartographyACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 4:1 (2006): 11-33.
  • David Bodenhamer, “The Potential of the Spatial Humanities” In David J. Bodenhamer, John Corrigan and Trevor M. Harris, Eds., The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship (Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 2010): 14-29.
  • Jeanne Haffner, “Things Visible and Invisible” Architecture Boston (Winter 2009): 34-41.
  • Shannon Mattern, “Critiquing Maps IIWords In Space [blog post] (September 5, 2013).

IN-CLASS CRITIQUE: HyperCities + Stanford Spatial History Project

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The second half of the semester is dedicated primarily to (1) map critiques, (2) self-directed reading and research, and (3) hands-on work. We may need to make changes to the syllabus so our in-class time can best support your individual and collaborative work. I ask that you please be flexible and responsive.

Week 7: October 16: Media Archaeology,  Cont’d; Mapping Platforms, Politics & Aesthetics

SPECIAL EVENT 7:00-8:30: Panel Discussion with Jussi Parikka, Lisa Gitelman, Shannon Mattern, other(s) TBD @ Hirshon Suite, 55 W 13th St, 2nd Floor (west of the Lang Center)

READINGS

We may not have time to discuss all of the following, but they’re still worth your time!

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Week 8: October 23: URT: Spatialized Data Modeling

MAP CRITIQUES: Salem; Lien; Jennifer

ACTIVITY: We’ll “reverse engineer” the data models for a few web forms / platforms.

READINGS

  • Excerpts from Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke, Database Management Systems, 2nd Ed. (McGraw Hill, 2003). [Remember: you’re reading not to develop expertise — some of this might be difficult to digest — but to familiarize yourself with some of the key terms, and to help you begin to “think like a database.”]
  • Data Modeling,” Wikipedia
  • Johanna Drucker & Bethany Nowviskie, Read Section A, [Skim B/C], Read D/E/F In “Temporal Modeling: Conceptualization and Visualization of Temporal Relations for Humanities Scholarship” Temporal Modeling Project Report, University of Virginia (probably early 2000s): 1-3, [3-11], 11-17. [This report’s probably close to ten years old, and it focuses on a design problem that’s rather different than our own – but it models how you might think through the translation of theoretical concepts central to your own project into (carto)graphic design, and how to reconceive your conceptual model as a data model.]
  • L.A. Cicero, “Deep MappingStanford University Multidisciplinary Teaching & Research (Fall 2006).
  • Rory Solomon, “Data Modeling and the Digital HumanitiesUrban Media Archaeology (Fall 2012).

REQUIRED BLOG POST: Within two weeks, you must address your data model in a process blog post. Too many students wait until too late to think through this issue, which delays their hand-on work on the map. It’s best to explore some options on the blog and seek feedback while there’s still time to revise and experiment with alternatives.

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Week 9: October 30: Pecha Kucha & Conceptual Design Feedback

PREP: PECHA KUCHA: Learn about PechaKuchas here. See also Olivia Mitchell’s “Five Presentation Tips for Pecha Kucha or Ignite PresentationSpeaking About Presenting [blog post], and check out some videos of Ignite presentations. As you’ll see, PechaKucha presentations typically involve presentations consisting of 20 slides, with 20 seconds dedicated to each. In the interest of time, we’re going to limit our presentations to 12 slides at 20 seconds each.

See this post for more information.

GUEST CRITICS: Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media; Joseph Heathcott, Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives and Professor of Urban Studies; Jane Pirone, URT Technical Director, Parsons Design & Technology

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Week 10: November 6: User Scenarios & Paper Prototyping

URT: Plotting Points, Lines & Areas

MAP CRITIQUES: Carmel; Mike; Jessica G.

READING/SCREENINGS [Note: These are all short (1-2-pp.) guides to help you prepare for our in-class prototyping activity.]

PREP FOR CLASS: Think about what major arguments you hope to make through your project, or what stories you hope to tell. How could users navigate through your finished project (yes, this involves some projection into the future!) and come away having comprehended your argument or story, and achieved your desired user experience? Now, write or sketch two or three brief user scenarios that tell the story of how different users might navigate through your project to achieve a particular goal (these scenarios are primarily for you — so they needn’t be terribly formal). Finally, consider how you’d actualize that scenario on a paper prototype – a prototype not of the overall URT interface, but of a user’s concrete interaction with your particular project. We’ll be constructing our prototypes in class – e.g., using yarn to represent paths, scraps of paper to represent photos or other media – but if you have a particular preference for how you’d like to materially prototype your project on a paper map, you’re welcome to bring your own “crafty” materials. Plus, if your project will likely focus on a tightly delimited area (e.g., a single neighborhood, or a single street), you might want to print out a large-format “base map” on which you can create your prototype. (Here’s info on how to print on multiple sheets; you can then “tile” these sheets — I’d recommend 3×3 — and tape them together.)

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Week 11: November 13: Cartographic Arguments

MAP CRITIQUES: Josie; Ateqah; Hira

GUEST: Nicole Starosielski, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture & Communication @ NYU, will share with us how she developed a cartographic argument for her interactive map of submarine cables.

READINGS

ACTIVITY: Discussing possible cartographic arguments for your own projects

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Week 12: November 20: Networking Nodes

MAP CRITIQUES: Laura W.; Jessica H.; Robert M. 

ACTIVITY: Through various group exercises (e.g., interviewing one another, “speed dating,” etc.) students will explore possible connections between their own projects and their classmates’. We’ll discuss what we might learn by layering or networking these projects on the map — and what modes of presentation can help us to convey these larger, multi-project arguments.

INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS: Sign up for an individual 20-minute meeting to review your research dossier and draft map. Preparation instructions on the Assignments page.

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November 27: NO CLASS: THANKSGIVING

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Week 13: December 4 (Sorry — I had the wrong date here before!): Tech Workshops as Needed and/or Independent/Group Work

SHANNON NOT IN CLASS; will schedule additional office hours, if necessary

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Week 14: December 11: Independent/Group Work & Individual Consultations

MAP CRITIQUES: Hugo; Jung

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Week 15: December 16: Final Map Presentations

*Please note that because of the holiday schedule, our final class is on a MONDAY. Please keep this in mind when purchasing your plane/train/bus tickets home for the holidays!

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