Online Urban Theory Discussion – Cibola

We would like to invite you to a continuation of a series of events that the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona has launched in Virtual Reality for the academic year of 2015-2016. They will take place at Cibola, the Department’s home in Second Life. Next conversation will be between Malcolm Compitello (The University of Arizona), Susan Divine (College of Charleston), Juliana Luna Freire (Framingham State University), Megan Saltzman (West Chester University), the new Cibola Manager Laura Vazquez Blazquez (ABD, The University of Arizona), and Palmar Alvarez-Blanco (Carleton College). It will be about the relationships between urban studies and Hispanic culture. Everyone is welcome!

For Thursday, 2/4, we will be discussing Harvey’s “The Urbanization of Consciousness”. If you need the text, please let us know. We will meet  at 5:00 p.m. Tucson time (7p.m. EST). 

We hope to see you at the event. In order to access Cibola, you will need to install Firestorm in your computer (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/cibola/26/180/28). Everyone is welcome to attend and participate. If you need help, please contact any of us.

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[new book] Digital Cities: The Interdisciplinary Future of the Urban Geo-Humanities (2015)

9781137524546.indd

A mid-length Palgrave Pivot book being released here.

‘Making a strong case for interdisciplinary layering as a way to represent the many layers – physical, social, aesthetic – of the city, Fraser’s visionary book is as much a meditation on the future of the digital humanities itself as it is on the city as an object of humanistic inquiry. He cogently charts a course for how humanists will employ thick mapping as a way to practice the digital humanities.’ [–David J. Staley, Associate Professor of History and Adjunct Associate Professor of Design, Director of the Goldberg Center at The Ohio State University, USA]

Digital Cities stakes claim to an interdisciplinary terrain where the humanities and social sciences combine with digital methods. Part I: Layers of the Interdisciplinary City converts a century of urban thinking into concise insights destined for digital application. Part II: Disciplinary/Digital Debates and the Urban Phenomenon delves into the bumpy history and uneven present landscape of interdisciplinary collaboration as they relate to digital urban projects. Part III: Toward a Theory of Digital Cities harnesses Henri Lefebvre’s capacious urban thinking and articulation of urban ‘levels’ to showcase where ‘deep maps’ and ‘thick mapping’ might take us. Benjamin Fraser argues that while disciplinary frictions still condition the potential of digital projects, the nature of the urban phenomenon pushes us toward an interdisciplinary and digital future where the primacy of cities is assured.

Introduction

PART I: LAYERS OF THE INTERDISCIPLINARY CITY
1. What is the City?
2. Art and the Urban Experience

PART II: DISCIPLINARY/DIGITAL DEBATES AND THE URBAN PHENOMENON
3. The Humanities, the Social Sciences and the Digital Sciences
4. What is Urban Totality?

PART III: TOWARD A THEORY OF DIGITAL CITIES
5. What are Digital Cities?
6. Thick Mapping as Urban Metaphor

Epilogue: Bridged Cities (A Calvino-esque Tale)

[new book] Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities [April 2015]

Fraser_Toward_9781137498557_EB_Cover.inddThe cover for Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities, the first of many new books in Palgrave’s new HISPANIC URBAN STUDIES book series, edited by B. Fraser and S. Larson.

[click here to pre-order on Amazon]

Toward an Urban Cultural Studies is a call for a new interdisciplinary area of research and teaching. Blending Urban Studies and Cultural Studies, this book grounds readers in the extensive theory of the prolific French philosopher Henri Lefebvre. Appropriate for both beginners and specialists, the first half of this book builds from a general introduction to Lefebvre and his methodological contribution toward a focus on the concept of urban alienation and his underexplored theory of the work of art. The second half merges Lefebvrian urban thought with literary studies, film studies and popular music studies, successively, before turning to the videogame and the digital humanities.

Madrid’s Gran Vía Digital Humanities Project

Brief video introduction [created with Camtasia 2] explaining a student-produced Digital Humanities project investigating Madrid’s Gran Vía [created with Omeka / Neatline].

This way of approaching DH work is particularly conducive to urban-scaled projects, and does not require extensive data mining or GIS components – although these approaches could certainly be integrated. (I will be presenting this project alongside my colleague at a June conference in Charleston titled: Data Driven: Digital Humanities in the Library.)

Explore the map-interface of the actual DH project here.

Views of Rome (Emory U)

With continuing interest in DH work and Urban Studies, I’ve just been referred to this interesting project:

Views of Rome is the online home of the 1773 edition of Pirro Ligorio’s Anteiquae Urbis Imago (Image of the Ancient City) held at Emory University. Originally published in 1561, the Imago is a cartographic reconstruction of fourth-century AD Rome. A high-resolution scan of the map exists as an interactive digital tool for use by students in the classroom and by members of the general public.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SITE

 

Biutiful Barcelona [10-15-minute video research article trailer]

My undergraduate students are busy making iMovie video final projects for a non-traditional literary survey class and I figured I might give it a try (theirs are much better I assure you). I’ve done this as a 10-15-minute video version of the argument I make in a recent article. Maybe it is more like a research article trailer… Anyone else out there making video articles? [It helps that youtube (at least for my account) allows video uploads of up to 15 minutes.]

The article is:

Fraser, B. “A Biutiful City: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Filmic Critique of the ‘Barcelona             model.’” Studies in Hispanic Cinemas 9.1 (2012): 19-34.

Justin Hodgson (Kairos): Walking in the Electra(City): A Fevered and Frivolous Spectacle

Read the abstract in its original context here at Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy (and below)

Watch the project here:

Walking in the (Electra)City: A Fevered and Frivolous Spectacle

Justin Hodgson

ABSTRACT

“What is no longer archived in the same way is no longer lived in the same way”

— Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever, 1995.

In 1984, Michel de Certeau, writing about the practices of everyday life, exposed us to a different way of thinking about our movements through (and our relationships with) the city as the center of cultural activity. While governments, institutions, and other structures of power designed the city according to particular strategies, for de Certeau it was the “tactical” movements of “passers by” that gave meaning to spaces and places of the city: that is, the walkers, wanderers, and window-shoppers created new paths through and new uses for the cityscape. They defined and redefined the city, and, in so doing, transformed (if not transcended) the strategic imposition.

Move forward nearly 30 years. The center of cultural activity now resides in the digital ether, the electra-city (here offered as a metonym for electrate culture); and it is ferried to you (rather than you to it) by tele-technologies, mediascapes, mobile devices, social networks, and so on. Given this shift, how might we need to rethink or even reconstitute de Certeau’s position in light of the 21st century? For not only are the ways we move through space itself notably altered (morphed by the cellular and computation prosthetics that aid in our daily activities), but the very notions of walking and city have also been Continue reading