· Listening,Transcript

Chuyên đề 8

I'm Karen Wigen from the history department. My normal teaching is on the history of Japan, and I also have a background in geography.

What does it mean for our imaginations for the perception of the world and for the way we navigate the world that we are surrounded by maps. The victory of maps is really quite recent, and the ways in which we use them and take them for granted are also quite recent. And it's likely that this has affected our imaginations as it is that the creation of the printed book changed our notions about narrative, or that the invention of the web has changed our understanding of... it's become another extension of our brains in a way that affected the way we interface with knowledge.

So the idea of this class is that to create an opportunity to explore the history of maps. When did they really come into widespread usage? The variety of maps both in their design and in their function, the kind of utility that they've had intended or unintended. What's unusual about maps compared to other kinds of text they are often created by committees. And also the nature of their circulation as objects as commodities their career as artifacts in the world from the point of creation through marketing distribution, viewing use, and ultimately archiving and collecting.

It turns out that Stanford has tens of thousands of maps, a very interesting range. We will also explore the web and explore the ways in which artists are playing with the idiom of cartography in their work. And maybe even have some guest speakers from around campus who use maps in their own work, and many many diverse uses that one wouldn't necessarily associate with maps or geography per se.

The culminating assignment for this class is a map exercise for their fellow students, where they in consultation with me come up with a topic that they are particularly interested in. And I help point them towards sources where they could collect maybe a dozen or more maps related to that particular theme and then pull them together in a pedagogical exercise where they create a series of questions that will lead other people into those maps and help guide them in asking both substantive analytical questions. We fell actually, direct people not force them up but compel them just to the shared interests of the questions to really look closely and see what they know in those maps, and how they mean as well as what they mean.

We cannot help but use cartographic representations as we try to wrap our mind around the big history of human presence on the globe. What is it about us that we are drawn to this medium, as an expressive possibility, as a functional utility? What is it about our minds and about this form, and about the way we move through space, and about this form that allows it to have such an enduring hold on...on human literate societies.

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