Mattern Guest Lecture, Understanding Media Studies, 9/21/09
exploring mapping planning Shannon Mattern, Ph.D. Assistant Professor www.wordsinspace.net
“ survey the historical development of the field” “ critically examine some of the key terms presently at the center of debates concerning the defining goals and purpose of the work” in the field “ create a collaborative, explicitly intradisciplinary space within the department to explore the often competing commitments of our discipline and to articulate the stakes (individual, field-wide, institutional, cultural)” of various approaches “ provide students with opportunities to locate themselves and their professional commitments in relationship to the field” Crisco et. al. 369
C. Wright Mills: “ A widespread, informal interchange of such reviews of ‘the state of my problems’ among working [researchers] is, I suggest, the only basis for an adequate statement of ‘the leading problems of [the field].’ … . Three kinds of interludes – on problems, methods, theory – ought to come out of the work of [researchers], and lead into it again; they should be shaped by work-in-progress and to some extent guide that work. It is for such interludes that a professional association finds its intellectual reason for being.”
<ul><li>Traditions within which they’re working </li></ul><ul><li>How they develop project ideas and hone them into feasible tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Grants, fellowships, festivals, awards </li></ul><ul><li>Professional organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Professional resources </li></ul><ul><li>Courses they teach </li></ul><ul><li>Theses they’ve advised </li></ul>
Guy Debord, Naked City , 1957; Constant Nieuwenhuys, Symbolische voorstelling van New Babylon , 1969
“ As a [researcher] you have to control this rather elaborate interplay [between past, present, and future; between professional and personal], to capture what you experience and sort it out; only in this way can you hope to use it to guide and test your reflection, and in the process shape yourself as an intellectual craftsman. But how can you do this? One answer is: you must set up a file, which is, I suppose, a sociologist’s way of saying: - keep a journal” (Mills).
“… use your experience and relate it directly to various works in progress. By serving as a check on repetitious work, your file also enables you to conserve your energy. It also encourages you to capture ‘fringe-thoughts’: various ideas which may be by-products of everyday life, snatched of conversations overheard on the street, or, for that matter, dreams. Once noted, these may lead to more systematic thinking, as well as lend intellectual relevance to more directed experience. ” (Mills)
“ Un der various topics in your file there are ideas, personal notes, excerpts from books, bibliographic items and outlines of projects … . [S]ort all these items into a master file of ‘projects,’ with many subdivisions. The topics, of course, change, sometimes quite frequently. ” “… t he use of the file encouraged expansion of the categories which you use in your thinking. And the way in which these categories change, some being dropped and others being added is an index of your intellectual progress and breadth. ” (Mills)
Reflective Journal “‘ off-loading’ device” : “a l low[s] the learner to take stock, evaluate and ‘deposit’ ideas and feelings about the learning experience ” (58) dynamic: “a depository for a range of information in a range of media, which is added to and consulted on a regular basis” (59) Possible Contents: bibliographic database, project glossary, contacts, correspondence, activity log Carole Gray & Julian Malins, Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004).
Reflective Journal Document the failures Evaluate the pace and progress of your work -- e.g., key incidents, decisions, realizations Brainstorm, think aloud, have insights, make decisions, make changes, ask ‘what if’ questions, make plans for improvement Carole Gray & Julian Malins, Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004); http://www.biad.uce.ac.uk/research/rti/riadm/issue1/abstract.htm
<ul><ul><ul><li>"Most children like to collect things. At four I started to collect documents of my own development as correlated with world patterns of developing technology. Beginning in 1917, I determined to employ my already rich case history, as objectively as possible, in documenting the life of a suburban New Englander, born in the Gay Nineties (1895)-- the year automobiles were introduced, the wireless telegraph and the automatic screw machine were invented, and X-rays were discovered; having his boyhood in the turn of the century; and maturing during humanity's epochal graduation from the inert, materialistic19th into the dynamic 20th century. I named my documentation the Chronofile.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>— Buckminster Fuller, From Synergetics Dictionary citing Citizen of 21st. Century, (U, or 0, Chap. 1), 1 Apr'67 (http://www.bfi.org/node/105) </li></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><li>Do very hard things, just for the sake of it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Try to make things that can become better in other people's minds than they were in yours. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A few years ago I came up with a new word. I was fed up with the old art-history idea of genius--the notion that gifted individuals turn up out of nowhere and light the way for all the rest of us dummies to follow. I became (and still am) more and more convinced that the important changes in cultural history were actually the product of very large numbers of people and circumstances conspiring to make something new. I call this "scenius” --it means "the intelligence and intuition of a whole cultural scene." It is the communal form of the concept of genius. </li></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><li>Methodolatry (n): common form of academic idolatry; glorification of the god Method; boxing knowledge into prefabricated fields, thereby hiding threads of connectedness, hindering New Discoveries, preventing the raising of New Questions, erasing ideas that do not fit into Respectable Categories of Questions and Answers (Daly 1987). </li></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><li>I am an unashamed pluralist who uses multiple methodologies…to give greater rigor, reliability and depth to the work I do. Each element is designed both to test and to complement the findings of other elements. The different methods add layers of information but also provide a means of identifying inconsistencies and weaknesses. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>--Sarah Bicknell, “He re to Help: Evaluation and Effectiveness ” In Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, Ed., Museum, Media, Message (Museum Meanings) (Routledge, 1999): 283-4. </li></ul></ul></ul>
“… the multimodal humanist…brings together databases, scholarly tools, networked writing, and peer-to-peer commentary while also leveraging the potential of visual and aural media…” “ She aims to produce work that reconfigures the relationships among author, reader, and technology while investigating the computer simultaneously as a platform, a medium, and a visualization device. She thinks carefully about the relationship of form to content, expression to idea.” (McPherson 120)
“ [I]magin[e] what it would be like to immerse yourself in a scholarly argument as you might immerse yourself in a movie or a video game…. [Investigat[e] what happens when scholarship looks and feels differently, requiring new modes of engagement from the reader/user.” We use these media tools “not because the tools are cool or new…or because the audience for our work might be expanded…, but because scholars come to realize that they understand their arguments and their objects of study differently, even better, when they approach them through multiple modalities and emergent and interconnected forms of literacy.” (McPherson 120-1)
James R. Ackerman & Robert W. Karrow, Jr. Maps: Finding Our Place in the World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). Janet Abrams & Peter Hall, Eds., Else/Where Mapping: New Cartographies and Territories (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Design Institute, 2006). Minna Aslama, Kalle Siira, Ronald Rice, Pekka Aula, “Ma pping Communication and Media Research in the U.S. ” Communication Research Centre, University of Helsinki, Research Report (February 2007). Giuliana Bruno, Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film (New York; Verso, 2002).
Virginia Crisco, Chris W. Gallagher, Deborah Minter, Katie Hupp Stahlnecker, & John Talbird, “Graduate Education as Education: The Pedagogical Arts of Institutional Critique ” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 3:3 (2003): 359-76. John Culkin, “Wh y Study the Media?” excerpt from doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education (1964): http://www. medialit .org/reading_room/article430.html Carole Gray and Julian Malins, Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004). Katharine Harmon, You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004).
Joanne Hershfield & Anna McCarthy, “Me dia Practice: Notes Toward a Critical Production Studies ” Cinema Journal 36:3 (Spring 1997): 108-112. Henry Jenkins, “Co nfronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21 st Century ” [white paper] Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning (MacArthur Foundation, 2006). Douglas Kellner, “Me dia Communications vs. Cultural Studies: Overcoming the Divide ” Communication Theory 5:2 (1995): 162-177. Tara McPherson, “Introduction: Media Studies and the Digital Humanities” Cinema Journal 48:2 (Winter 2009): 119-23. C. Wright Mills, “On Intellectual Craftsmanship ” Appendix to The Sociological Imagination (Oxford University Press, 1959).
Gerald O’Grady, “Th e Preparation of Teachers of Media, ” Journal of Aesthetic Education 3:3 Special Issue: Film, New Media, and Aesthetic Education (July 1969): 113-134. John Durham Peters, “Ge nealogical Notes on ‘The Field’ ” Journal of Communication 43:4 (Autumn 1993): 132-. Colin Robson, Real World Research , 2nd ed. (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1993/2002). Grace Roosevelt, “Th e Triumph of the Market and the Decline of Liberal Education: Implications for Civic Life ” Teachers College Record (2006): http://www. tcrecord .org/ David Rumsey Map Collection: http://www. davidrumsey . com/gmaps .html
Pamela J. Shoemaker, “Co mmunication in Crisis: Theory, Curricula, and Power ” Journal of Communication 43:4 (Autumn 1993) William David Sloan, Makers of the Media Mind: Journalism Educators and Their Ideas (Lawrence Earlbaum, 1990). William Uricchio, “Hi storicizing Media in Transition ” In David Thorburn & Henry Jenkins, Eds., Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003): 23-38. Kevin Williams, Understanding Media Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).