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Personal/Political/
Feminist Maps
Theoretical
Reflections on
Spatial Methods for
Action Research
Jen Jack Gieseking
Bowdoi...
What the map cuts up, the story cuts across.
- Michel de Certeau
We have very few creative philosophers in our profession,...
An Introduction to Feminist Mapping
Methods & Analytics I: Mental Mapping
Methods & Analytics II: GIS & Spatial Statistics...
Consider the role of feminist geographies in the moment of big
data and new geoweb technologies.
Newly apply and reinvigor...
An Introduction to Feminist Mapping
Theories of Mapping
via Mental Mapping
•Tolman’s “Cognitive Maps in Rats & Men” (1948) & Lynch’s The
Image of the City (19...
Theories of Mapping
via Mental Mapping
Mental mapping as the representation
of a individual or group’s cognitive map
throu...
Theories of Mapping
via GIS
•Kwan’s (2002, 2014) feminist GIS & “feminist visualization”
•Wilson’s (2013) data “mattering”...
Theories of Feminist
Geography
•Role and place of embodiment and experience
•Strong methodological work in qualitative res...
Case: from Living in an (In)Visible World to
Queer New York
• 1979 “ghettos” --> 1983
“neighborhoods”
• Gays linked to patterns of
gentrification
• LGBTQ people are most often
associ...
• “Invisible”
• Possess less capital and power
• Associated with a narrative of
fear of the city and fear of
public space
...
What do contemporary lesbians’ and queer women’s
everyday, urban spaces say about the evolution of
contemporary cities?
Ho...
1983-2008
NYC
Images: © Levine Roberts, Keith Haring, n/a, GO, gonyc.gov
• 47 self-identified lesbians & queer women
★ came out between 1983-2008
★ 1/3 women of color
★ 1/2 from NYC
Alison Bechde...
Alison Bechdel 1987
• Participatory online focus group
• Archival research
★ Lesbian Herstory Archives
★ 382 organizationa...
Neighborhoods
Bars
City
& Bodies
What do contemporary lesbians’ and queer women’s
everyday, urban spaces say about their h...
Methods & Analytics I: Mental Mapping
Lesbian-Queer
Neighborhoods
Desi ‘91’s Map Sally ‘95’s Map
Color = Participant Year of Coming Out
Red = Cassie ’83 (Latina, middle class, from NYC)
Blue = Susan ’92 (white, middle c...
Methods & Analytics II: GIS & Spatial Statistics
QGIS
Is…
•Quantum GIS can be found at qgis.org
•F/OSS is free & open source software - accessible by and for public
•Fills...
QGIS: Mapping
Whiteness
1980 2010
QGIS: Mapping
Housing Value
2000 2010
Methods & Analytics III: Interactive GeoWeb GIS
Mapbox
Is…
•Mapbox Studio & TileMill can be found at mapbox.com
•F/OSS is free & open source software with pay as you go s...
Queer Public Archive
at WorkLesbian Herstory
Archives
Queer Public Archive
at Work
1983 1998
QPA
Contributions
• profound insights into LGBTQ
history and culture over place
and time
• phased approach to network
plac...
Discussion: Room for Interventions by Feminist
Mapping
Consider the role of feminist geographies in the moment of big
data and new geoweb technologies.
Newly apply and reinvigor...
Seeing Our
Voices
Relationships between one
users’ 1,512 friends on
Facebook. 2013.
Friendships between 7,188
users of the Facebook group
“Q...
Geography as More
than GIS
Consider the role of feminist geographies in the moment of big
data and new geoweb technologies.
Newly apply and reinvigor...
What the map cuts up, the story cuts across.
- Michel de Certeau (1984)
We have very few creative philosophers in our prof...
Questions & comments:
@jgieseking
jgieseking.org
peopleplacespace.org
jgieseking@gmail.com
All papers available on jgiesek...
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Gieseking - Personal/Political/Feminist Maps: Reflections on Spatial Methods for Action Research

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"Personal/Political/Feminist Maps: Reflections on Spatial Methods for Action Research"

Talk given at Feminist Social Justice Conference, a Workshop on Participatory and Feminist Research Methods
March 16, 2015
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

In _The Practice of Everyday Life_, de Certeau writes that "What the map cuts up, the story cuts across." But what if the everyday stories you seek are already cut up by centuries of structural inequality and oppression, such as those of lesbians and queer women? In this talk I investigate what can be gained for the study of women’s lives and spaces by bringing together the isolated but overlapping stories of lesbians and queer women in maps, from the hand-drawn to the most technologically advanced and interactive. Drawing upon qualitative and quantitative work on lesbians' and queer women's spaces and economies in New York City from 1983 to 2008—including multi-generational focus groups and mental maps, archival research and GIS—I work through three different types of mapping methods and platforms within a participatory action research framework. Through a close analysis of mental maps and GIS maps created using QGIS and TileMill/Mapbox, I suggest that while the spatial and verbal can both obfuscate and illuminate understandings of everyday life. It is the queer practice of holding these seeming binaries in tension that reveals the most rich and complicated knowledge.

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Gieseking - Personal/Political/Feminist Maps: Reflections on Spatial Methods for Action Research

  1. 1. Personal/Political/ Feminist Maps Theoretical Reflections on Spatial Methods for Action Research Jen Jack Gieseking Bowdoin College jgieseking.org @jgieseking
  2. 2. What the map cuts up, the story cuts across. - Michel de Certeau We have very few creative philosophers in our profession, but we do have a number of technical innovators. - Yi-Fu Tuan
  3. 3. An Introduction to Feminist Mapping Methods & Analytics I: Mental Mapping Methods & Analytics II: GIS & Spatial Statistics Methods & Analytics III: Interactive GeoWeb GIS An Outline Discussion: Room for Interventions by Feminist Mapping Case: Lesbian-Queer New York
  4. 4. Consider the role of feminist geographies in the moment of big data and new geoweb technologies. Newly apply and reinvigorate the qualitative and participatory action research (PAR) dimensions of the methods and analytics that are the strong points of feminist geography. Broaden methodological contributions of geography in mapping as not just GIS. Interventions Expand the voice and ability to communicate participants’ stories and experiences.
  5. 5. An Introduction to Feminist Mapping
  6. 6. Theories of Mapping via Mental Mapping •Tolman’s “Cognitive Maps in Rats & Men” (1948) & Lynch’s The Image of the City (1960) •1960s & 1970s geographical method mavericks: Downs & Stea, Hart, Saarninen, Gould & White, Devlin, Milgram & Jodelet, Wood •Dennis Jr.‘s “Prospects for Qualitative GIS at the Intersection of Youth Development and Participatory Urban Planning” (2006) >> Gardner’s Frames Of Mind: The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences (1993)
  7. 7. Theories of Mapping via Mental Mapping Mental mapping as the representation of a individual or group’s cognitive map through hand sketching or computer- based design, including information, emotions, and ideas associated with them, whether real and/or imagined -Gieseking (2013) From Hayden (1997): “Cognitive maps of Los Angeles as perceived by predominantly Anglo American residents of Westwood” from the LA Dept of Planning 1971
  8. 8. Theories of Mapping via GIS •Kwan’s (2002, 2014) feminist GIS & “feminist visualization” •Wilson’s (2013) data “mattering” •Take off of critical GIS: Wilson, Elwood, Burns, Shears, Thatcher, Graham, Zook, Stephens
  9. 9. Theories of Feminist Geography •Role and place of embodiment and experience •Strong methodological work in qualitative research and PAR •Inclusive of scales of home, body, and intimate - refusing binaries in showing the imbrication of the global & the intimate (Pratt & Rosner 2012) •Women’s Ways of Knowing (1986) + limitations on what women Images: © Green Monkey, LHA, Vanity Fair, Tattooinq
  10. 10. Case: from Living in an (In)Visible World to Queer New York
  11. 11. • 1979 “ghettos” --> 1983 “neighborhoods” • Gays linked to patterns of gentrification • LGBTQ people are most often associated with places such as bars, neighborhoods, and cities • Consistent claim to territoriality and publics as pathway to LGBTQ liberation Urban Geographies of Sexualities Castells (1983)
  12. 12. • “Invisible” • Possess less capital and power • Associated with a narrative of fear of the city and fear of public space • Lesbian neighborhoods are more identified as “spatial concentrations” LesbianHerstoryArchives.org. 2012. Urban Geographies of Women
  13. 13. What do contemporary lesbians’ and queer women’s everyday, urban spaces say about the evolution of contemporary cities? How do lesbians’ and queer women’s experiences complicate the narratives of LGBTQ spaces and history? Image: © Shutterstock And how do they make us rethink our gendered narratives of cities?
  14. 14. 1983-2008 NYC Images: © Levine Roberts, Keith Haring, n/a, GO, gonyc.gov
  15. 15. • 47 self-identified lesbians & queer women ★ came out between 1983-2008 ★ 1/3 women of color ★ 1/2 from NYC Alison Bechdel 1987 Methods • 22 group interviews ★ within & across generation interviews ★ mixed-methods: mental maps, artifact sharing
  16. 16. Alison Bechdel 1987 • Participatory online focus group • Archival research ★ Lesbian Herstory Archives ★ 382 organizational records ★ 25 years of publications Methods
  17. 17. Neighborhoods Bars City & Bodies What do contemporary lesbians’ and queer women’s everyday, urban spaces say about their history and culture?
  18. 18. Methods & Analytics I: Mental Mapping
  19. 19. Lesbian-Queer Neighborhoods Desi ‘91’s Map Sally ‘95’s Map
  20. 20. Color = Participant Year of Coming Out Red = Cassie ’83 (Latina, middle class, from NYC) Blue = Susan ’92 (white, middle class) Green = Sally ’96 (white, upper-middle class) Brown = Shawn ’98 (black, middle class, from NYC) Purple = Holly ’03 (white, working-middle class) Orange = Beth ’06 (white, working-middle class) MANHATTAN QUEENS BROOKLYN West Village East Village Park Slope Bed- Stuy Central Park WilliamsburgChelsea Lesbian-Queer Gentrification
  21. 21. Methods & Analytics II: GIS & Spatial Statistics
  22. 22. QGIS Is… •Quantum GIS can be found at qgis.org •F/OSS is free & open source software - accessible by and for public •Fills gap between ArcGIS and GMaps •Free and smart GIS practicum: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/geoportal/ practicum/ ℅ Frank Donnelly - taught in six 1.5 hour classes
  23. 23. QGIS: Mapping Whiteness 1980 2010
  24. 24. QGIS: Mapping Housing Value 2000 2010
  25. 25. Methods & Analytics III: Interactive GeoWeb GIS
  26. 26. Mapbox Is… •Mapbox Studio & TileMill can be found at mapbox.com •F/OSS is free & open source software with pay as you go storage •Interactive geoweb technologies - fills gap between QGIS & GMaps with heavy design component in CartoCSS & code for participatory qualities •Google the TileMill “Crashcourse” & teach in one day with learn as you go CSS work
  27. 27. Queer Public Archive at WorkLesbian Herstory Archives
  28. 28. Queer Public Archive at Work 1983 1998
  29. 29. QPA Contributions • profound insights into LGBTQ history and culture over place and time • phased approach to network place-based and period-based scholars • network LGBTQ individuals, groups, archives, and experiences • redefine modes of public knowledge production
  30. 30. Discussion: Room for Interventions by Feminist Mapping
  31. 31. Consider the role of feminist geographies in the moment of big data and new geoweb technologies. Newly apply and reinvigorate the qualitative and participatory action research (PAR) dimensions of the methods and analytics that are the strong points of feminist geography. Broaden methodological contributions of geography in mapping as not just GIS. Interventions for Feminist Mapping Expand the voice and ability to communicate participants’ stories and experiences.
  32. 32. Seeing Our Voices
  33. 33. Relationships between one users’ 1,512 friends on Facebook. 2013. Friendships between 7,188 users of the Facebook group “Queer Exchange” over one year. 2013. Moment of Big Data
  34. 34. Geography as More than GIS
  35. 35. Consider the role of feminist geographies in the moment of big data and new geoweb technologies. Newly apply and reinvigorate the qualitative and participatory action research (PAR) dimensions of the methods and analytics that are the strong points of feminist geography. Broaden methodological contributions of geography in mapping as not just GIS. Interventions Expand the voice and ability to communicate participants’ stories and experiences.
  36. 36. What the map cuts up, the story cuts across. - Michel de Certeau (1984) We have very few creative philosophers in our profession, but we do have a number of technical innovators. - Yi-Fu Tuan (1974)
  37. 37. Questions & comments: @jgieseking jgieseking.org peopleplacespace.org jgieseking@gmail.com All papers available on jgieseking.org/publications. Thank you.

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