Spatial Rhetorics & Locative Media – E 388M
In the last few decades, rhetorical scholarship–alongside a host of other humanities disciplines–has held a sustained interest in spatiality. Of particular concern for the humanities is how spaces affect our shared practices and sense of identity. Rhetoric and related scholars, then, seek to explore how we enact, preserve, and transgress boundaries to help create spatial conditions of possibility for personal, pedagogical, and political ends. For instance, any city is in part defined by the many ways its people, roadways, and buildings relate to one another, providing sights, sounds, and speeds of interaction that then fold back and help further characterize that space.
To further complicate matters, recent innovations of digital media, mapping applications, and tracking technologies–including digital sensors, surveillance cameras, and global positioning systems–have contributed additional possibilities and problems to our sense of space. Now, the spaces we experience are just as much characterized by loose and porous boundaries as any stable or static condition. Spaces, it seems, are on the move.
Towards understanding today’s shifting spatial conditions, the class will examine spatial rhetorics in three ways. First the class will focus on rhetoric’s rich tradition of inventive spatial practices; second, we will survey what might now be considered canonical critical spatial theory (Lefebvre, De Certeau, Soja, etc.); finally, we will spend extensive course time exploring spatial rhetorics through mobile and locative media. Ultimately, the course aims to provide students with a foundation of spatial rhetorical theory while also offering an opportunity to consider the methodological demands of composing with mapping applications and locative media.
At the end of the course, students will be able to
- Be conversant about the development of critical spatial theory
- Demonstrate awareness about spatial rhetorical theories
- Show facility with mapping and locative composing methods
Algra, Keimpe. Concepts of Space in Greek Thought
Cooley, Heidi Rae. Finding Augusta: Habits of Mobility and Governance in the Digital Era
Farman, Jason. Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media.
Grosz, Elizabeth. Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space.
Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space.
Presner, Todd, David Shepard, & Yoh Kawano. HyperCities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities
Additional Articles will be available on the course Canvas website
[full assignment sheets will be provided for all projects]
Reading Responses (20%) Due: Throughout Semester
10 reading responses over the course of the semester to be posted to our course site (Canvas). During the first week, I will provide an outline and discussion for how responses should be organized. The responses will primarily serve to gather your thoughts towards our required readings, but they may also be opportunities to report on experience using one of the many applications we will be exploring this semester. In all cases, the responses will provide a starting point for class discussion.
Mapping Assignment (15%) Due: TBD
In this assignment, you will identify, examine, and explore one mapping application/method. Over the course of the semester, we will survey several available applications/programs in class, but students are welcome to select an application/program not listed/surveyed in class.
Case Study Review/Response (15%) Due: Varies
This assignment–done in lieu of a response–asks you to analyze one mature spatial-oriented research project, paying special attention to the methodological and technological considerations. These will be 1-2 pages and will include a brief, informal presentation/discussion for that class meeting (one-two each Wednesday). Some of the case studies have been chosen by me (on the schedule), but there are several slots available for students to identify their own case study.
Proposal & Working Bibliography (10%) Due: Nov 3
This will be a proposal and bibliography for your final project. This is the space in which you will declare which option (more below) you intend to pursue for your final project. While the proposal is not meant to be a strict contract, it is designed to get students thinking about and working on projects early.
Final project (40%) Due: Dec 8
The final project should work towards your own research agenda as possible. Towards that end, I offer three options, all of which build from the course readings and assignments. Whatever option is chosen, the eventual project should respond to the course readings/themes/methods, focusing on some aspect of spatial rhetorics and/or locative media.
Traditional Essay. This option asks a student to compose a 6000-7000 word essay concerning spatial rhetoric and/or locative media that can be further developed for a conference presentation, a dissertation chapter, or an early draft of an article for publication consideration.
Project Plan. This option would allow a student to propose, outline, and (initially) design a substantial digital project. This will likely include several artifacts: i.e. a project rationale, mini-grant proposal, technical documentation, asset list.
Imaginary App. This option would look to Cooley’s *Finding Augusta* and its accompanying mobile app as a model for designing a similar app for a course text, theme, or project. Similar to Option Two, this option would necessarily require several artifacts: rationale, interface wireframes, app mockups.
Section One: Spaces in/of Antiquity
Wed Aug 27: Introductions & Expectations
Discuss: Corder, “I Proposed a New Geography Course, but the Curriculum Committee Turned It Down”
Mon Sep 1: No Class
Wed Sep 3: Bodenhamer, “The Potential of Spatial Humanities”; Algra Concepts of Space in Greek Thought, 1-72.
Case Study: Graff, “Reconstructing Sites of Ancient Greek Oratorical Performance in Virtual Reality” ; Lecture Presentation: “Spaces of Oratorical Performance in Ancient Greece: Reconstruction, Interpretive Visualization, and Assessment”
Wed Sep 10: Miller, “The Aristotelian Topos: Hunting for Novelty”; Leff, “Up from Theory, or, How I fought the Topoi and the Topoi Won”; Muckelbauer, “Topoi: Replacing Aristotle”; Rickert, “Toward the Chora” Recommended: Simonson, “Reinventing Invention, Again”
Case Study: Verran’s TAMI Project
Section Two: Critical and Practical Spatial Theory
Mon Sep 15: Lefebvre, The Production of Space, p. 1-169; Ackerman, “The Space for Rhetoric in Everyday Life”
Wed Sep 17: Lefebvre, The Production of Space, p. 169-229; Endres & Senda-Cook, “Location Matters: The Rhetoric of Place in Protest”
Case Study: Forensic Architecture
Mon Sep 22: Soja from Postmodern Geographies, p. 1-75; Grego, “Institutional Critique and Studio as Third Space”; Farman, “Mapping the Digital Empire”
Wed Sep 24: Blair, “Contemporary U.S. Memorial Sites as Exemplars of Rhetoric’s Materiality”; Gruber, “The (Digital) Majesty of All Under Heaven”
Recommended Readings: Inman, “Designing Multiliteracy Centers”; Gresham, “Composing Multiple Spaces”
Case Study: TBD
Mon Sep 29: De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, p. 91-131; Reynolds, “Maps of the Everyday”; Rieder, “Typographia”
Wed Oct 1: Farman, “Storytelling with Mobile Media”; Thielman, “Locative Media and Mediated Localities”; Hemment, “Locative Arts”
Case Study: Border Bumping
Section Three – Locative Media and Rhetoric
Mon Oct 6: Grosz, “The Future of Space: Toward an Architecture of Invention”; Massumi, “Strange Horizons: Buildings, Biograms, and the Body Topologic”; Barnett, “Psychogeographies of Writing”
Wed Oct 8: Amin & Thrift, from Cities: Reimagining The Urban, p. 1-30.; Kinsley, “The Matter of ‘Virtual’ Geographies”; Thrift, “The ‘Sentient’ City and What it May Portend” ; e Silva & Frith, “Interfaces to Public Spaces”
DUE: Mapping Assignment TBD
Mon Oct 13: Rice Digital Detroit
Wed Oct 15: Rice, Digital Detroit; In-Class: Skype Visit w/ Professor Jeff Rice, University of Kentucky
Mon Oct 20: Propen, Locating Visual-Material Rhetorics: The Map, The Mill, The GPS, p. 3-45; 121-159; 186-203
Wed Oct 22: Potts, “Methods for Researching and Architecting the Social Web” & “Locating Data in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina”; McNely, “Heuristic Approach to Hybrid Spaces”
Case Study: Geocaching
Mon Oct 27: Farman, Mobile Interface Theory, p. 1-75
Wed Oct 29: Farman, Mobile Interface Theory, p. 76-113
Case study TBD
Mon Nov 3: Cooley, Finding Augusta, p. 1-52
Due: Project Proposal
Wed Nov 5: Cooley, Finding Augusta, p. 53-115; In-Class: Skype Visit w/ Associate Professor Heidi Rae Cooley, University of South Carolina
Case Study: Augusta App
Mon Nov 10: Presner et al., HyperCities, p. 1-100; Lynch, from “What Time is This Place?” p. 29-64
Wed Nov 12: Presner et al., HyperCities, p. 101-202; Ethington, “Placing the Past”
Case Study: HyperCities
Mon Nov 24: Workshop
Wed Nov 26: Workshop
Mon Dec 1: Workshop
Wed Dec 3: Project Presentations
[more resources added throughout the course of the semester]
CartoDB – “A Cloud Based Mapping Application”
Odyssey.js – Narrative Mapping Composer – A project of CartoDB
PostGIS – Spatial database extender for PostgreSQL object-relational database
Neatline – Application for Building Narritives with Timelines and Maps
OpenPaths – Open Source GPS Tracking Application and Database
OpenStreetMaps – An Open Source Mapping Project
OSGeo – An open source community for software dev
Spatial Humanities – An NEH-funded research group investigating the Spatial Turn in the humanities.
Tableu Public – A hosted Information Visualization Application
Ushahidi – An open source mapping platform
ViewShare – Information visualization, Including Maps
GeoCommons: Mapping, DataSets, and Visualizations
Augé, Marc. Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity, trans. John Howe. New York: Verso, 2008.
Bachelard, Gaston. The poetics of space. Beacon Press, 1994.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. The dialogic imagination: Four essays. U of Texas Press, 2010.
Cache, Bernard. “Earth Moves: the Furnishing of Territories. trans. Anne Boyman. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995.
Casey, Edward S. The fate of place: A philosophical history. U of California Press, 2013.
——. Representing Place: Landscape Painting and Maps (University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
——. “Getting back into place.” Towards a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (1993).
Clark, Gregory. “Writing as Travel, or Rhetoric on the Road.” College Composition and Communication (1998): 9-23.
Cooper, Marilyn M. “The Ecology of Writing.” College English (1986): 364-375.
Dickinson, Greg, Carole Blair, and Brian L. Ott, eds. Places of public memory: The rhetoric of museums and memorials. University of Alabama Press, 2010.
Dobrin, Sidney, ed. Ecology, Writing Theory, and New Media: Writing Ecology, Routledge, 2011.
Harrison, Paul, and Ben Anderson, eds. Taking-Place: Non-Representational Theories and Geography: Non-Representational Theories and Geography. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2012.
Hillier, Bill. Space is the machine: a configurational theory of architecture. SpaceSyntax, 2007.
Keller, Christopher J., and Christian R. Weisser, eds. The locations of composition. SUNY Press, 2007.
Kitchin, Rob, and Martin Dodge. Code/space: software and everyday life. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011,
———. “Code and the transduction of space.” Annals of the Association of American geographers 95.1 (2005): 162-180.
Kwinter, Sanford. Architectures of time: Toward a theory of the event in modernist culture. MIT Press, 2002.
Latour, Bruno, and Albena Yaneva. “Give me a gun and I will make all buildings move: An ANT’s view of architecture.” Explorations in architecture: Teaching, design, research (2008): 80-89.
Massey, Doreen. For Space. Sage, 2005.
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Mitchell, William J. Placing words. MIT Press, 2005.
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Sloterdijk, Peter. Globes: Volume I: Microspherology. Semiotext, 2014.
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Thrift, Nigel. Non-representational theory: Space, politics, affect. Routledge, 2008.
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Urry, John. Mobilities. Polity, 2007.
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Varnelis, Kazys. Networked publics. The MIT Press, 2012.
Weisser, Christian R., and Sidney I. Dobrin, eds. Ecocomposition: Theoretical and pedagogical approaches. SUNY Press, 2012.
Yaneva, Albena. Mapping controversies in architecture. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2012.