This is the last entry–for now–at Foveal Rhetorics, a course blog woven with stenope entries from WRTG540: Visual Rhetoric and Information Design at Eastern Michigan University, Winter 2017. Entries will remain for at least one year from today. After that, well, who among us can see that far into the future?
I had big ideas for the final Scribe Note–video, comic, maps. The end of the semester time crunch allowed me to construct this. I attempt a flow chart of some sort, possibly in a spiral shape, with some sub-categories. Kind of a messy outline.
Reality: In The Power of Maps, Wood discusses how maps represent a reality to an audience that has not interacted with the environment. Even though the audience has not interacted with the area the map covers, the members can construct the environment in their mind from the map and their own experiences [CJR].
Boundary: A boundary is a separation between connecting elements. In exploring maps, however, Wood highlights the arbitrary nature of boundaries. First off, many different elements are used as a sign of a boundary: a fence, a desert, territorial decisions, etc.. Because of this, boundaries are social constructs that are mostly respected but oftentimes disputed due to different viewpoints [CJR].
Thinking about the readings on mapping and defining disciplinary activity, take 5 minutes to answer the survey questions. When everyone is finished, share with someone next to you and see if there are any similarities or differences that are worth noting about your experiences in the field thus far.
1. Where are you from? City, Province or City, State
2. From what institutions did you obtain the following degrees (as applies)? BA or BS MA or MS PhD Other Please specify degree.
3. What graduate program are you in?
4. What professional organizations do you belong to?
5. Who were the first scholars you were introduced to and how have they shaped your understanding of the field?
6. What scholars best connect with your research interests and why? List up to 3
Survey modified from
Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies. 24-25.
Brooke Notes 4-3-17
Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies.
Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies. By Andre Williams, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Jennifer Clary-Lemon, and Derek Mueller. Edmonton: Inkshed, 2017. 20-44.
This chapter is a portion of a larger study which collected the survey responses of 91 Canadian Writing studies scholars and began a systematic process of plotting scholarly activity physically (geographically) and figuratively, to map out a varied epistemological landscape.
Essences, Differentiation, Shape-finding, Surveys, Disciplinary Networks, Canadian, American
“Question 10 asked about how participants regarded themselves, as a Canadian scholar, an American one, something in between, or something else. A close plurality of respondents selected Something in between (22; 40%) or Canadian (20; 36.6), with Something else (10; 18.8%) and American (2; 3.6%) receiving fewer selections. This indicates a mixed but balanced quality among the ways the respondents identify as emplaced scholars, and the tension elicited here shows up in other questions, too, which suggests a complex, transnational self-understanding among Canadian writing studies scholars” (Mueller, 27).
“The first three geography-oriented questions confirmed that over 70% of the respondents are from Canada, completed a BA or BS in Canada, an MA or MS in Canada, and live and work in Canada now. However, just 23 (41.8%) of the respondents completed a PhD in Canada; whereas 29 (52.7%) undertook doctoral studies in the United States. In an otherwise Canadian-oriented set of geographical identifiers, doctoral studies are the anomalous class, signaling cross-border activity through which a majority of Canadian writing studies scholars surveyed went to the United States for a PhD and returned to work in Canadian universities” (Mueller, 31).
“At another degree removed, we can begin to understand how the influences of Joy Ritchie, Kate Ronald, and Robert Brooke, professors at Nebraska who Dale Jacobs identified as mentors, are similarly implicated in and constitutive of this disciplinary network. Jacobs isn’t at Waterloo, and yet he is. He isn’t at Old Dominion, but he is. He isn’t at SUNY-Potsdam, Michigan State, Florida State, Wayne State, or Cincinnati, but he is. Digital cartography is useful for seeing the emerging definitional shape of this network—for grasping an image of Dale Jacobs as simultaneously emplaced and distributed” (Mueller, 43).
Regarding the survey results of question 10 of the survey, in which 18.8% of survey respondants identified as “something else” when responding to the question “Do you see yourself primarily as a Canadian scholar, an American one, something in between, or something else?,” it makes me wonder if those who responded that way did so because they might have been an international student scholar of some kind who had taken part in the Canadian writing studies, and yet could not truly consider themselves a “Canadian” or “American” scholar due to their status in the country or the amount of time they had spent in the country up to that point.
I wonder if at one point there could be a small study that branches off of this one that endeavors to pick up this strand and see how international student scholars within Canadian writing studies have intersected with the field and how the field has intersected with their experience and background?
Clary-Lemon, J. (2009). Shifting tradition: Writing research in Canada. American Review of Canadian Studies, 39(2), 94–111. doi:10.1080/02722010902848128
Fox, W. L. (2009). Aereality: On the world from above. Berkeley: Counterpoint.
Phelps, L. W., & Ackerman, J. M. (2010). Making the case for disciplinarity in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies: The visibility project. College Composition and Communication, 62(1), 180–215.
Soja, E. W. (2011). Postmodern geographies: The reassertion of space in critical social theory (2nd edition). London; New York: Verso.
“Inquiring into patterned activity at any one scale can tell us something that is not evident at any other scale. Through the deliberate alteration of scale, this opening segment of the project seeks to define Canadian-American writing studies interdependency from perspectives that are yet uncommon; it seeks to introduce a viewshed for graphical, distant, and aerial treatments of disciplinary activity that may contribute to a definition concerned less with fixed essences or contrastive differentiation than noticing time-sensitive patterns and emerging shapes” (Mueller, 23).
As an “indexical aereality,” this text spatializes disciplinary activity and movement across the Canadian-American border through maps (43). This spatialized knowing seems reflective of Sousanis’s wayfinding in its shifting from a static locale to a dynamic motion of relationships that serve as definitional and shape-making. As shapes emerge, so too do contours or borders—borders that overlap other borders possibly. Are there ways of mapping or knowing borders as fluid or the edges as fraying? Some rhetoric scholars see the field as one of borrowing from others, others seem more siloed in their view—does scaling in this way take stock of the silos’ contents and their movement, or show tributaries from other ways of knowing and other fields? Also, rather than mapping only disciplinary activity, could we map disciplinary inactivity? Failures of doing, not doing, and not reaching—an antimap?
For this Stop-Draw, I was thinking about combining maps and the spiral exercise from Syllabus. Think about a specific point in your life, any point, and begin a spiral–keep the spiral as tight as possible. When this point of reflection transitions to another point in your life, move across the page and begin another spiral. Don’t worry about crossing lines, but try to keep your pen on the page for the duration of the activity.
The difficulty for me when trying this was focusing on my reflection rather than the spiral I was drawing. I don’t know if there is significance in where your focus is. When you are finished, you will have a map that only you can interpret.
Wood, D. (2010). Rethinking the power of maps. Guilford Press.
I found this book by searching Google Scholar for texts citing The Power of Maps. The abstract I found listed this as a “contemporary follow-up” to Wood’s original publication, offering a “fresh look at what maps do, whose interests they serve, and how they can be used in surprising, creative, and radical ways” (Amazon Book Review). This book was cited 377 times. [JS]
Crampton, J. W. (2001). Maps as social constructions: power, communication and visualization. Progress in Human Geography, 25(2), 235-252.
I found this article by searching Google Scholar for texts citing The Power of Maps. This seems to be an extension of Wood’s ideas and focuses on how maps can be problematic communication devices. The two major developments this article brings forward are “1) investigations of maps as practices of power-knowledge; and 2) ‘geographic visualization’ (GVis) which uses the map’s power to explore, analyze and visualize spatial datasets to understand patterns better” (Article Abstract). This article was cited 368 times. [JS]
Kitchin, R., & Dodge, M. (2007). Rethinking maps. Progress in human geography, 31(3), 331-344.
I found this article by searching Google Scholar for texts citing The Power of Maps. This article narrows the focus of Crampton’s article, claiming that cartography is “profitably conceived as a processual, rather than representational, science” (Article Abstract). The piece asks about map security ontologically – and argues that there is no secure ontological status. This article was cited 370 times. [JS]
Harris, L. M., & Hazen, H. D. (2005). Power of maps:(Counter) mapping for conservation. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 4(1), 99-130.
I found this article by searching Google Scholar for texts citing The Power of Maps. This article looks at how defining and mapping geologically protected areas for conservation links to “themes from political ecology, social natures, and conservation biology literatures to extend our understanding of maps as reflective of, and productive of, power” (Article Abstract). This article was cited 116 times. [JS]
Wood, D. (1993). The Fine Line Between Mapping and Map Making. Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization, 30(4), 50-60.
I found this article by searching Google Scholar for texts citing The Power of Maps. Written by Wood, this article is responding to “Brian Harley’s efforts to re-form the history and theory of cartography” (Article Abstract). Wood argues that Harley was erroneously “dazzled” and “inspired” by Continental thinkers but failed to effectively argue for “cartography embodying the self-conscious awareness only an honest, living history could provide.” This article was cited 58 times. [JS]
“Every map is like this, every map facilitates some living by virtue of its ability to grapple with what is known instead of what is merely seen, what is understood rather than what is no more than sensed. I want to say that recently the distance between this visible, palpable world of our senses and the world we make of it has stretched” (Wood 7).
“This is the very point of the map, to present us not with the world we can see, but to point toward a world we might know” (Wood 12).
It’s interesting that throughout this class we have discussed and analyzed visual rhetoric examples we can easily look at, yet Wood criticizes the idea that we oftentimes take physical copies of maps so seriously. With this second quote, Wood encourages us to look beyond what maps present and to consider what we cannot see. This idea is similar to what Sousanis explores with the imagination in Unflattening (88). Considering what Wood argues and Sousanis’ ideas about imagination, do you think that our use of the maps over time hinders our ability to be imaginative? Does this result in an inability to change the status quo? How does Wood’s discussion of property and mental maps play into this?
Maps make things real for us, “every map facilitates some living by virtue of its ability to grapple with what is known instead of what is merely seen, what is understood rather than what is no more than sensed” (Wood, 7). Because maps are visually engaging and the physicality that comes with it, this creates something more concrete and understood, or real. “We are always mapping the invisible or the unattainable or the erasable, the future or the past, the whatever-is-not-here-present-to-our-senses now and, through the gift that the map gives us, transmuting it into everything it is not…into the real” (Wood, 5). When something is mapped out it holds a truth making it real.