GGRB13 – Lecture 5 – February 6, 2012
- Make transitions between paragraphs and sentences
- Make fair criticisms
Ex. I wished the author did this to relate to x
- Can be positive and/or negative
- You can bring in readings from other courses
- What is space?
- What is place?
- What is sense of place?
- Malls and Amusement parks
Space/culture = place
- Space (abstract) + cultural meanings = Places
- Place is space with meaning added
Conflation – using two terms interchangeably when they are different
What is SPACE?
- Space and Place are conflated
- Space is abstract, Place is concrete
- They require each other for definition
What is PLACE?
- Human geography is the study of places
- Place = space invested with meaning in the context of power
- A meaningful component in human life
- Forms the basis of human interaction
- Placelessness refers to similar landscapes, space without value, transitory (no pause to allow
you to consume it)
- This is a quality of space Space/Place
- Think about where you feel a sense of place
- Sense of place is a place that matters to you
- What gives a place its identity, its aura?
- Space allows for movement
- Place is pause
- Each pause in movement makes it possible for location to be transformed into place
- Therefore, place isn’t just a “thing” in the world, it’s how we understand the world
- There are attachments and connections between people and place
What is sense of Place?
- A wider sense of belonging
- You feel comfortable
- Being a part of a group
- Enjoyment of whatever may be desired, satisfaction
- Belonging to a location
What do you Collect?
- Snow globes are things that you take with you to capture or reproduce a sense of place
- Souvenirs are pieces of place; you take a piece of it when you travel
- Rocks and shells are souvenirs in which you can only find them in that specific location
- You taking the rock home is “agency”
- The root of “souvenir” is to remember
Souvenirs – Pieces of Place
- How are souvenirs designed? Authenticity?
- Marking a moment
- Taking a little piece of place and taking it back home with you
- Taking a piece of landscape
- Place travels
- Material manifestations of journeys
- Recording of a story in place
- Movement of a place to a new place
- What do you collect?
- What does it say about you and the places in which you have travelled?
- It reminds you of the places that you’ve visited - You see it every day and you “experience it”, engaging with the built environment
- Kids are not collecting as much these days compared to kids in the past
- Does this diminish sensory and intellectual engagement with their environment?
Critical human geography
- To expose the taken for granted nature of everyday life
- What is not said is often as meaningful as what is said (think of who decides what is
- What stories does your body have to tell?
- What stories are hidden, experiences of your family, friends that you keep to yourself?
- What are your experiences in space, and what do they tell you about privilege, power and
Nuit Blanche: What happens to our city?
- It allows us to be a reader of geography
- The City (of Toronto) becomes “art”
What is Social Geography?
- This course is about the relationship between society and space and place
- Study of social relations and the spatial structures that underpin those relations
- The social construction of space and place
- Which spaces feel comfortable to you and why?
- What kind of agencies opens up?
How did social geography emerge?
- From positivism to humanism, social/cultural geography is now firmly on the agenda
- Influenced by the cultural turn and the interest in the politics of identity in the 1990s
- Environmental determinism, the belief that where you come from determines who you are
- If you come from x then you must act like y
- Critique of spatial science (1950s-1960s), Positivism was one way of looking at it, but new
ways are emerging
What are the challenges facing Social Geography Today?
- Cultural studies – how is society constructed?
- Meanings, symbolism, representation
- Literary, psychoanalytical influences means that cultural geographers are often accused of
being fluffy for studying issues that don’t deal with poverty, inequality or material value
- Cell phone paper Key Terms in Geography
Positivism – a philosophy of science that draws from scientific inquiry, objectivity is its focus
Spatial Science – school of geography that is largely quantitative, focuses on spatial analysis
and the modelling of spatial systems
Humanism – in contrast to spatial science, emphasis on intentions and meanings embedded in
human actions; creative capacity of humans to make change in spaces
Epistemology – how we know what we know
Historiography – the study of the way a discipline has been and is written
- When you study a historiography you do not study the events of the past directly, but the
3 Questions You should be able to answer Today:
- What is a landscape?
- How is the mall a kind of landscape?
- What are some other examples of different kinds of landscapes in our built environment?
What is a landscape to you?
- What words come to mind when I say the word “landscape”?
- Land, scenic, trees
- We use the word all the time; it means so many things to different people
What is a landscape?
- It means so many things
- Landscape views
- Natural landscapes
- Landscape architecture
- Modern urban landscape
- Landscape painting and photography
- A natural scene mediated by culture
- If we are looking at a landscape somewhere, then we are located somewhere in that space
- We have to have access to it in some way or some point of connection to it
- The relationship between nature and culture
- Both a frame and what a frame contains
- Any landscape offers you a frame, not just what’s inside the frame but also the
boundaries - Scene within the range of the observer’s vision
- Both a place and a “way of seeing”
But are we trained to look?
- How do geographers get their information?
- How do we decide what “the field” is?
- How have you been trained to look at your landscape?
Landscapes and looking
- Refers not only to relationship between spaces in the land, but...
- It also implies a certain way of looking
- Not just a material consequence of interactions between a society and environment, but...
- -A critical gaze which makes sense of a particular relationship between society and land
- Implies a particular way of representing the (visible) world through cultural forms in ways that
serve to make the environment, legible, coherent and pleasing to the viewer
- “scape” is not land itself, it is a representation of land or “view of”
- Site of sight (locating and embedding it in land)
- Arrangement in physical space of artifacts and activities
- The way we look at geography is based on situated knowledge
- Situated knowledge
- Where you are will be a different view compared to others, impacts how you see the world
- Tells a different story, maps, dimensions, etc.
Ex. Someone on the top of the mountain vs. someone on the ground
Postcards: “Wish you were here”
- How are postcards produced? What pictures are used?
- They tend to depict exotic places, places where you travel to
- We take photos and send postcards of particular landscapes and not others
- Indicating that landscape remains an important way of understanding what are palatable,
acceptable, and pleasing landscapes to the eye – nature and culture
It’s all in how you look
- It gives the eye absolute mastery over space, control, awe
- A landscape painter determines the point of view
- Don’t just appreciate it – appropriate it
- The spectator owns the view, he is the person looking at it - Landscape becomes a bourgeois way of seeing, someone who has access to that la