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GGRB13 - Lecture 5

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Minelle Mahtani

GGRB13 – Lecture 5 – February 6, 2012 Assignment 1 - 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 Last Class - 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 - Community - Being a part of a group - Contentment - 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 Collecting - 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 knowledge) - 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 subordination/exclusion? 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 changing interpretations 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 - Landscaping - 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 Landscape - 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 Situated Knowledge - 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
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