Key Faculty: T.L. Cowan (cowant AT newschool.edu); K Surkan (ksurkan AT mit.edu); Laura Wexler (laura.wexler AT yale.edu)
Syllabus Description [adjust to your course’s purposes]: (in-class activity, interaction or assignment)
The FemTechNet Situated Knowledges Map is an experiment in thinking about the relationship between space, place, mobility and knowledge production and circulation. By marking locations of significance to ourselves, we hope to get a sense of where we are coming from across the FemTechNet world.
Questions to consider: How does place and location affect our knowledges? Where do our knowledges come from? Does it matter where you were when you learned something? How do ideas, knowledge practices, customs, values, norms travel? What does it mean to move across spaces? What changes when we move, especially when we traverse borders? Under what conditions do we move? How do ideas change over time and/or space? How are knowledges culturally specific? How are places racialized, gendered, classed, designated or felt as safe or dangerous? What are marginal or minoritized spaces? What knowledges come from being part of a dominant culture in a place? And from a minoritized culture in a place?
- Yi Fu Tuan – Space and Place: A Humanistic Perspective
- Jeremy Crampton – Introduction to Critical Cartography
- Karen Keifer Boyd – Visual Culture & Gender
- Marianna Pavlovskaya and Kevin St. Martin – Feminism and GIS
- Feminist GIS (Development of Thought Wiki)
- Graham Huggan – Decolonizing the map
- David Meek – Critical Cartography as Transformational Learning
- FemTechNet Video Dialogue: “Place” with Sharon Irish and Radhika Gajjala: https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/groups/docc-2013-video-dialogs/forum/topic/place-radhika-gajjala-and-sharon-irish/
- Donna Haraway (1988). “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. https://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~ewa/Haraway,%20Situated%20Knowledges.pdf
- Patricia Hill Collins (1990). selection from Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. https://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/252.html (This is freely accessible, but there are some typos.)
- Nana Verhoeff. “You are Here: Playful Mapping and the Cartography of Layers.” https://icaci.org/files/documents/ICC_proceedings/ICC2013/_extendedAbstract/432_proceeding.pdf
- Doreen Massey – “Space, Place, and Gender”
- Adrienne Rich, “Note Towards a Politics of Location.” In Blood Bread and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985. New York: W.W. Norton. (1986): 210–32. Here is a online version – https://www.medmedia.it/review/numero2/en/art3.htm
- Adrienne Rich, “Towards a Women-Centered University.” On Lies, Secrets and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978. New York: Norton, 1979. (Short excerpt here: https://feministlit.pbworks.com/w/page/8649395/Toward%20A%20Woman%20Centered%20University)
- World Map of Feminists
- Feminist Mapping Project/Assignment
- Women’s Stats Maps
- Photogrammar (see article in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/08/seeing-the-great-depression/379238/)
- The Mapping Journey Project, Bourchra Khalili https://www.sharjahart.org/projects/projects-by-date/2011/the-mapping-journey-project-khalili
Getting Started on the FTN Collaborative Situated Knowledges Map
Watch this Google Map Engine tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6pWfoktUd8
If you get lost in this process, feel free to contact T.L. Cowan (tlcowan1 at gmail dot com).
- Open the FemTechNet Situated Knowledges Map link via your Google account: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zgRBEY0lMifM.ktEBl3YRkh3U
- Select ‘Add a Marker’ [to the right of the hand icon] from the toolbar below the Search field at the top of this map.
- Drop a pin or make a marker on a place that represents a moment of feminist knowing, unknowing, learning, unlearning, understanding, confusion.
- In the description field of your pin or marker, please note your name (or a pseudonym), where you are writing from, and include either a narrative description of an event, or idea, a poem, micro-story, video, photo, etc. to animate your marker. You might want to make a mark about some of the following ways that you intersect with the idea of Feminism & Technology:
- your home town
- where you first encountered an idea that transformed your understanding of the world or yourself
- a place where you had an experience that transformed your understanding of the world or yourself
- a place where you first came to an understanding of a key concept:
- power, class, gender, sex, assigned sex, race,
- Women of Color Feminism
- Transnational feminism
- feminist killjoy
- migrant knowledges
- Black Radical Tradition
- scattered hegemonies
- Indigenous knowledges
- (de)colonized knowledges
- compulsory heterosexuality
- situated knowledge
- cyborg knowledges
- compulsory ablebodiedness
- reproductive labour
- affective labour, etc
- a place that represents a site of epistemological belonging or alienation
- or a place that has been important for you in your knowledge of yourself in/and the world.
You may add as many pins as you’d like. Please only edit your own pins and be careful not to ‘delete’ anything!
5. Once you have added your pin/marker, name and media: click “Share” (upper right hand corner) and then “Done (bottom of pop-up box).
6. Browse through the other pins & markers and see where other folks are coming from! All map participants are encouraged to write a short reflection on their experience of the collaborative map, and we will collect these reflections and publish them as a FemTechNet blog post (contact T.L. if you would like to participate in this). Unfortunately Google Engine doesn’t allow comments on other people’s pins.
7. Commenting: If you would like to comment on another pin, here’s how you can do it: drop a pin and write your comment as usual. Once you have posted your comment, hover the curser over the title of your comment in the list on the left of the map. Use the paint can icon to change your pin into a star and color it blue! (I have added a comment called “White Savior Industrial Complex” as an example.)
Furthermore, instructors may choose to signify certain icons for specific purposes. Ie:
- we could use a purple square to indicate an “After reading ___” or “Key Word ____” marker that indicates a spatialization of students’ coming to new knowledges.
- we might want to add another notation shape (a green circle) that indicates a student re-visiting the map — what is something they have learned in a spatialized way during the course? And we could add this to the assignment — Drop a green circle at the end of the semester. How has your thinking changed? Do you perceive that initial experience that you described in your first pin differently?
7. One last glitch: Google Engines only allows one user at a time to work on the map. If you are doing this exercise in class, your students will have to take turns. If you are logged into the map and it is glitching out on you, it probably means that someone else is working on it, so come back in 10 min. Again, this is an experiment–or research-creation process–towards a FemTechNet map project, so please record your thoughts as you contribute to the map.
Hot Chocolate Machine as Working Class Femme Technology?
T.L. Cowan – (Now lives in New York City) Working in the snack bar of the local hockey (and figure skating and ringette) arena, which my dad managed, I learned to use technologies that most people will never know about…the hot chocolate machine, a hot dog contraption, a microwave that was only ever used for frozen pizzas and danishes. I even drove the zamboni or did my father try to teach me and I didn’t care? or did he just teach my brothers and i was stuck in the snack bar? it’s all a blur. but the whirrrrr of the hot chocolate machine will always bring me to that ‘flush’ that Sedgwick talks about — the flush of shame. Although the word “flush” brings me to another memory — cleaning the toilets & urinals. But that’s for another time. The whirrrrr of the hot chocolate machine: This is the time when I felt most alienated from femininity — here I was this lunging girl — dishing out microwaved pizzas, greasy hotdogs, bags of chips, and so much bloody hot chocolate to all these tiny figure-skaters who, it seemed to me, looked at me as a monster: as pathetic, large, poor and clumsy. At the time I didn’t know anything about ‘working class cred’ and didn’t feel any solidarity with the other poor, struggling class or working class kids I knew. I just wanted pretty things and a small body.
Questions? Contact T.L. Cowan: tlcowan1[at]gmail[dot]com