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CFP: Media’s Mapping Impulse

Conference CFPs Posted on 14 Aug, 2015 15:46:30

Media’s Mapping Impulse

is one of the oldest forms of media. In both cartography and media,
meaning, ideology, and power are habitually arbitrated across and
through space and time. While critical cartographers
have shed light on mapping’s innate tendency toward the objectification
of spatial relations, a (masculine) gaze that it cannot disown, these
same power relations are equally embedded in media’s voyeuristic and
controlling tendencies. Media, moreover, in
all its diverse forms, has an underlying mapping impulse – a proclivity
to comprehend itself and be rendered comprehensible through metaphors
of topologies, networks, and flows that lead to the constant evacuation
of spaces in order to produce places of communication.
This mapping impulse is hardly new, but rather has been part of media
all along. Visual media, for instance, developed out of a mapping
impulse during the Renaissance, which led to the scopic regimes of
projectionism and perspectivalism and their related
technologies. Both media and cartography are never static, but rather
are ongoing scopic and discursive regimes that continually make and
remake the terms in which we understand and interact with our world.

And yet,
the mapping impulse of media is both overt and subtle. Think, for
instance, of the subtle duplicity of Hollywood’s runaway productions,
which creatively map Toronto as the “other” New
York, Romania as North Carolina, or South Africa as California.
Developments in mobile computing have not only increased the pace, flow,
and interaction of media across space, but also the ubiquity, and thus
the taken-for-grantedness, of mapping. More and
more, owing to the practices of the neogeographers of the Geoweb, media
requires a geographical situatedness in which and for which media can
take place. Here, locative media relies on programming languages and
APIs to construct geo-fencing, geo-tagging,
and geo-coding and to produce applications and services that localize
and individualize information to one’s liminal, transitory, and fleeting
lived space. Consider, for example, the ways in which (geo)web 2.0
unites one’s virtual and physical presence (if
such a distinction can be made) via services such as FourSquare or
Facebook check-ins that announce one’s whereabouts to friends and

With this
collection of papers we seek to illuminate media’s mapping impulse by
exploring the relationship between cartography, geospatial technologies,
and locative media on the one hand, and new
and traditional media forms such as social media, mobile apps,
television, film, and music, on the other.
Media’s Mapping Impulse will be an international and
interdisciplinary gathering of essays to be printed in the acclaimed
Media Geography at Mainz (MGM) book series (
Possible themes
and areas of focus for this book include, but are not limited to:
montage and bricolage; the cartographic paradox and cartographic
anxiety; the spatial turn in media studies; GIS as media and the use of
GIS to understand media; sensorial cartographies, sound
and musical maps; cinematic cartographies; locative media, mobile apps,
and the everyday; sharing economies (AirBnB, Couch Surfing, Uber) and
the map; architectonics, spatial mobilities, haptical and emotional
cartographies; urban planning, media and the revisualization
of place.

interested in participating should send an extended abstract (750-1,000
words), along with a curriculum vitae and contact information, to Laura
Sharp (
with the subject line “Media’s Mapping Impulse.” We ask that all proposals be submitted on or before
September 15th, 2015. Responses to these proposals will be returned by
November 1st, 2015. If selected, full papers will be expected on or before
March 31, 2015. A blind review will be conducted on all papers. Final papers will be due no later than
June 1, 2016. All authors selected for the final collection will
be welcome to attend the “Media’s Mapping Impulse” symposium to be held
at the
Institute of Geography at the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz in June 2016.

New Book: Digital Cities

Digital Spaces Posted on 14 Aug, 2015 15:43:26

Digital Cities: The Interdisciplinary Future of the Urban Geo-Humanities
Benjamin Fraser (Palgrave Pivot, 2015)
Digital Cities stakes claim to an interdisciplinary terrain where the humanities and social sciences combine with digital methods. Part I: Layers of the Interdisciplinary City converts a century of urban thinking into concise insights destined for digital application. Part II: Disciplinary/Digital Debates and the Urban Phenomenon delves into the bumpy history and uneven present landscape of interdisciplinary collaboration as they relate to digital urban projects. Part III: Toward a Theory of Digital Cities harnesses Henri Lefebvre’s capacious urban thinking and articulation of urban ‘levels’ to showcase where ‘deep maps’ and ‘thick mapping’ might take us. Benjamin Fraser argues that while disciplinary frictions still condition the potential of digital projects, the nature of the urban phenomenon pushes us toward an interdisciplinary and digital future where the primacy of cities is assured.

New Book: Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age

Digital Spaces Posted on 14 Aug, 2015 15:38:51

Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age
Leighton Evans (Palgrave, 2015)

Locative Social Media offers a critical analysis of the effect of using locative social media on the perceptions and phenomenal experience of lived in spaces and places. It includes a comprehensive overview of the historical development of traditional mapping and global positioning technology to smartphone-based application services that incorporate social networking features as a series of modes of understanding place. Drawing on users accounts of the location-based social network Foursquare, a digital post-phenomenology of place is developed to explain how place is mediated in the digital age. This draws upon both the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and post-phenomenology to encompass the materiality and computationality of the smartphone. The functioning and surfacing of place by the device and application, along with the orientation of the user, allows for a particular experiencing of place when using locative social media termed attunement, in contrast to an instrumentalist conception of place.

New Book: Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban

Maps & Mapping Posted on 14 Aug, 2015 15:35:14

Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban
Edited by Michael Darroch and Janine Marchessault
(McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015)

Media are incorporated into our physical environments more dramatically than ever before – literally opening up new spaces of interactivity and connection that transform the experience of being in the city. Public gatherings and movement, even the capabilities of democratic ideology, have been redefined. Urban Screens, mobile media, new digital mappings, and ambient and pervasive media have all created new ecologies in cities. How do we analyze these new spaces? Recognition of the mutual histories and research programs of urban and media studies is only the beginning. Cartographies of Place develops new vocabularies and methodologies for engaging with the distinctive situations and experiences created by media technologies which are reshaping, augmenting, and expanding urban spaces. The book builds upon the rich traditions and insights of a post-war generation of humanist scholars, media theorists, and urban planners. Authors engage with different historical and contemporary currents in urban studies which share a common concern for media forms, either as research tools or as the means for discerning the expressive nature of city spaces around the world. All of the media considered here are not simply “free floating,” but are deeply embedded in the geopolitical, economic, and material contexts in which they are used. Cartographies of Place is exemplary of a new direction in interdisciplinary media scholarship, opening up new ways of studying the complexities of cities and urban media in a global context.

Inside the Digital Humanities: Digital Mapping

Digital Spaces Posted on 14 Aug, 2015 15:29:58

Introductory blog on digital mapping…

As it was described in the last post, Digital Humanities is, in short terms, much more than computational processing data. It is about designing new ways of scholarship, with infinite potentialities and always open to new possibilities and new worlds.

From now on, lets talk about some ramifications inside the Digital Humanities. The topic of today will be Digital Mapping!…