Jul 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

US 256 Lying Maps (& Other Spatial Fictions)

This is a geohumanities course in learning how to see hidden realities in the everyday world, and in learning to identify the values that are buried beneath seemingly ordinary surface of our daily lives. Specifically, we will be making an interdisciplinary investigation into how the spatio-visual world is understood in the fields of cultural geography, art history, urban studies, and cartography. Our starting premise will be that if you stand on a hilltop and survey the environment as it spreads out in front of you, what you see is emphatically not what you get. To unpack this conundrum we will explore landscapes, cityscapes, and maps while asking questions like: what does it mean to decode a landscape? How can you “read” a cityscape as you walk down the street? What can we learn about a culture’s values by examining its built form? How is examining built forms different from interpreting or reading a map? How do maps and other visual representations actually help re-shape the physical world, rather than just report on what already exists? In what ways do maps lie? What contradictions exist between how places are represented and what they actually are?