Brooke Notes: 3/20


Sousanis, Nick. Unflattening. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.


perspective, imagination, self-awareness, viewpoint, seeing, constraints


Our imagination fills the gaps in our understanding. Our understanding of new things relies on what we know. Awareness of what we know allows us to venture into the unknown. The unknown is sought to feed our imagination.

Works Cited

Aiken, Nancy E. The Biological Origins of Art. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998.

Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Moore, Alan. Watchmen. Illustrations and lettering by Dave Gibbons. Colorist John Higgins. New York: DC Comics, 1987.


“When ideas are written in stone with the certainty that we got it right, we risk following without reflection” (110).

“Through repetition over time, we become proficient. Forming habits is essential so we do not have to relearn every activity continually” (111).

“To set ourselves free, we can’t simply cut our bonds. For to remove them (if we could) would only set us adrift, detached from the very things that make us who we are” (134).


What is the significance of restraints in relationship to developing an identity?

March 13 Reading Questions!!

 Unflattening by Nick Sousanis


While most of us see an argument as a battle of words between two opposing sides, Nick Sousanis in Unflattening  considers an argument as a dance. “This doesn’t mean erasing or ignoring differences. Instead, it’s a complex dynamic,”what Simeon Dreyfuss calls “holding differences ways of knowing in relationship”(38). Is the author trying to start a new argument by addressing inconclusiveness of classical arguments? Approaching an argument as compromising, listening, or basically seeing the other side’s perspective not just our own and to embrace each other? Isn’t he just repeating the Rogerian theory of argument? But the question is validity of an argument. Not all of the arguments are valid to be embraced by opposing side. I am wondering how Sousanis would address the validity of arguments by visual tools. [SK]


Is Sousanis by asking which view is the truth trying to refer to Plato’s perspective of truth? Does he mean that what we see is the shadow of the truth not the “Truth”? Can we  trust the multidimensional view of our visions? [SK]

Bibliography 2/13

Anderson, J. (2015). Understanding cultural geography: places and traces. New York, NY: Routledge.

While searching Google Scholar for citations of Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I found Anderson’s book, Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces. Anderson’s work discusses the intersections of place, identity, culture, and power. The book examines how individuals experience and understand space through their cultural identities. [LW]

Casebeer, D. (2016). Border Crossings and (Re) crossings: The Post-representational Turn in Social Cartography (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

I found this dissertation while searching Google Scholar for those books and articles that cite Drucker. In his dissertation, Casebeer discusses the implications of mapping places and space. He examines the culture of cartography and discusses new methods of cartography pedagogy that teach the ways in which societies create knowledge in relation to space. [LW]

Eisner, E. (2008). Art and knowledge. Handbook of the arts in qualitative research, 3-12. Retrieved from

I found Eisner’s chapter while searching Google Scholar for citations of Dillard’s book. In this chapter, Eisner examines individual and cultural perceptions and the ways in which such perceptions influence knowledge. Eisner also explores ideas of familiarity and strangeness, and how these ideas influence knowledge construction. [LW]

Jackson, P. W. (2000). John Dewey and the lessons of art. Yale University Press.

I found Jackson’s book, John Dewey and the Lessons of Art, when searching for citations of Dillard’s book in Google Scholar. Jackson examines human experience, particularly, the ways in which humans experience art. In his book, Jackson examines an influential work from the 1930s, and studies the contemporary examination of culture, experience, art, and nature. [LW]


Murphy, P. D. (2009). Ecocritical Explorations in Literary and Cultural Studies: Fences, Boundaries, and Fields. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books.

I also found this book while searching Google Scholar for those books and articles that cite Dillard. Murphy’s collection discusses the ethical implications of cultural definitions of place. Murphy examines the ways in which place and space is represented in literature, and troubles these usages in his discussion. [LW]


Reading Question 2/13

But there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied. The difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera. When I walk with a camera I walk from shot to shot, reading the light on a calibrated meter. When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment’s light prints on my own silver gut. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer” (Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 8)

The term “gesalt” refers to groupings and our tendency to see patterns whenever possible. Human perception isn’t literal. We will close gaps, see motion, make partial shapes into whole ones in ways that are surprisingly predictable” (Johanna Drucker, Graphesis, 57)

Gesalt diagrams

Annie Dillard suggests there are two types of seeing which she  describes as walking with a camera and walking without (8).  These two ways of encountering visuals and understanding images around us makes me think of Johanna Drucker’s discussion on Gesalt diagrams and how human perception isn’t literal. She describes this further and goes on to say ” we don’t simply see what is in a mechanistic way. Instead, what is seen is what is made (57).

Is this type of seeing Drucker talks about “walking with a camera or walking without?” How do we make sense of the two types of seeing both Dillard and Drucker describe?

Big Idea 2-13-17

“Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simple won’t see it” (Dillard 8). “All I can do is try to…hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper dangled before my eyes” (Dillard 9).

Our ability to notice certain details can be hampered by how well we are able to name and describe something. Our expectations of how something should look can prevent us from “seeing” something that is outside of that norm. [RN-J]