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Visualizing the Former Cold War "Other"

Images of Eastern Europe in World Regional Geography Textbooks in the United States

Dmitrii Sidorov

This article discusses contemporary western representations of the former Cold War geopolitical "other," Eastern Europe, conveyed by illustrations in contemporary American world regional geography textbooks. I would like to explore certain geopolitical biases in the pictures' general messages, such as tendencies to highlight the transitional, problematic, and marginal at the expense of the essential and centripetal characteristics and landscapes. Images of Eastern Europe tend to marginalize it from the rest of Europe by minimizing visual references to its physical landscape and its role in European history; overemphasizing local problems connotes the need for the supranational assistance of the expanding European Union. Overall, this article attempts to reveal various Cold War legacies and "marginalizing" tendencies in visual representations of Eastern Europe, thus contributing to the visual and popular cultural turns in geography and geopolitical studies.

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The Map and the Territory

The Seventh International Road Congress, Germany 1934

Kristina Skåden

In transnational history of traffic, transport, and mobility, historians have been arguing for studying organizations as “transnational system builders” in the establishment and modification of transnational infrastructure. Emphasis has been placed on examining human actors. Here, I argue that the role of material objects, the nonhuman actors, should also be taken into account by investigating how a particular map matters. The major research issue is, therefore: How can we understand and analyze how the Nazi regime put the map Deutschlandkarte displayed at the exhibition Die Strasse (Munich, 1934) into play? In addition, how did the map figure in transnational system building during and after the seventh International Road Congress arranged by the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses? Insights from transnational history in the fields of traffic, transport, and mobility as well as material cultural studies, critical mapping, and actor-network theory inform this article.

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Recognition and Knowledge

Mapping the Promises and Seductions of Successful Female Futures

Stephanie D. McCall

Today's girls have become spectacles of modern progress and the representation of social desires for success. What has been remarkably unclear in this imagination, visualization, representation, and investment of modern girlhood is what knowledge and what attachments mobilize girls towards their desires for success. In this article I will examine school knowledge and the seduction of rationality and certainty about female futures. I trace some of the effects and affects of curricular knowledge. I examine how girls move ambivalently towards objects of desire, like prestigious colleges, through their desire for recognition, difference, and being exceptional. Using qualitative data collected in a private all-girls school, in this article I bring together feminist poststructuralist theory, curriculum theory, and girlhood studies to attend to affective intensities of spiciness, happiness, and shame and analyze how these disrupt the visualizations of the girls' seemingly unambiguous notions of female success.

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Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel

The world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, and its cities are transformed by technology and distributed computing. With every photograph, Twitter post, public transit ride, and credit card swipe, we leave digital traces in physical space. The enormous quantity of information, or Urban Big Data, that humanity generates each day is beginning to off er new possibilities for research, design, and systems optimization on the city scale, but the first step toward our urban future is finding new ways of understanding and visualizing Big Data—revealing invisible dimensions of the city.

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Democratizing the Digital Collection

New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage

Jane-Heloise Nancarrow

Three-dimensional modeling and printing of museum artifacts have a growing role in public engagement and teaching—introducing new cultural heritage stakeholders and potentially allowing more democratic access to museum collections. This destabilizes traditional relationships between museums, collections, researchers, teachers and students, while offering dynamic new ways of experiencing objects of the past. Museum events and partnerships such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Hackathon”; the MicroPasts initiative; and Sketchfab for Museums and Cultural Heritage, encourage non-traditional methods of crowd-sourcing and software collaboration outside the heritage sector. The wider distribution properties of digitized museum artifacts also have repercussions for object-based and kinesthetic learning at all levels, as well as for experiential and culturally sensitive aspects of indigenous heritage. This article follows the existing workflow from model creation to classroom: considering the processes, problems, and applications of emerging digital visualization technologies from both a museum and pedagogical perspective.

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Danai S. Mupotsa and Elina Oinas

In this themed issue we explore images that unsettle, disrupt, disqualify, and transgress the visual and affective expectations visited upon contemporary girls. The articles here suggest new ways of seeing, visualizing, and representing the girl, and of feeling and thinking about her. We begin from the recognition that girls are seduced into qualifying and passing in normative, intersecting ways that work along the various axes of sex, gender, age, corporeality, class, and race, and that we need to attend to possible disruptions of this logic. How do girls both entertain and interrupt the presumably obligatory wish to qualify? We attempt to answer this by looking at the intimate and embodied aspects of being a girl, and at the processes of estheticizing, and fetishizing the girly. We ask how the girl as subject-in-process establishes and challenges the notions of failing and passing.

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Comics as Public Pedagogy

Reading Muslim Masculinities through Muslim Femininities in Ms. Marvel

Shenila S. Khoja-Moolji and Alyssa D. Niccolini

In this article we examine the production and operation of the character, Kamala Khan, a Muslim American-Pakistani superheroine of the Ms. Marvel comic series, to glean what this reveals about Islam and Muslims, with particular attention to representations of Muslim masculinities. We argue that Ms. Marvel's invitation to visualize Muslim girls as superheroes is framed by a desire to interrupt rampant Islamophobia and xenophobia, yet, in order to produce such a disruption it relies on, and (re)produces, stereotypical conceptualizations of Muslim masculinities as mirrored in men who are conservative, prone to irrational rage, pre-modern, anachronistic, and even bestial. However, as the series progresses we notice the emergence of representations of complex and complicated Muslim masculinities that cast doubt on these tired, hackneyed ones, thus making way for a comic to undertake the pedagogical work of resistance. We see this graphic novel, like the shape-shifting Kamala herself, as wielding potentially dynamic and transformative power in social imaginaries.

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The True Story of Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox

Tourists, Truth, and the Insouciance of Souvenirs

Richard White

Gundagai’s statue of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, about half way between Melbourne and Sydney, was arguably Australia’s most popular purpose-built tourist attraction for half a century from its unveiling in 1932. This article uses the monument as a case study to consider the ways in which the past is visualized as it is turned into tourism. In what has been called the “circle of representation,” tourists’ understandings of the places they visit are shaped by the preconceptions created by pre-existing media representations through art, postcards, photography, posters, tourist brochures, souvenirs, and so on. In the case of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, the expurgated language of souvenirs, as they multiplied through the twentieth century, came to displace oral dissemination of earlier more vulgar meanings attached to the original story that was the inspiration for the monument.

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Ça commence aujourd' hui, Être et avoir et Entre les murs

Une vision diffractée de l'école républicaine française

Annie Jouan-Westlund

The essay is a detailed cinematic and cultural analysis of Ça commence aujourd'hui by Bertrand Tavernier (1999), Être et Avoir by Nicolas Philibert (2003) and Entre les Murs by Laurent Cantet (2008). It contrasts the cinematic depictions of three French schools in rural, urban, and suburban France. Through a comparison of locations, pedagogy, and student expectation, the essay shows a contrasted and diffracted vision of the French educational system portrayed in the films. In the context of school reforms debated in France, the essay points out the variety and complexity of different schools visualized through the cinematic lens, and it questions the French Republic's ability to successfully fulfill its mission to educate young citizens of various social, racial, and cultural backgrounds.

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Simone Derix

This article argues that state visits are highly symbolic political performances by analyzing state visits to Berlin in the 1950s and 1960s. The article concentrates on how state visits blended in the Cold War's culture of suspicion and political avowal. Special emphasis is placed on the role of mass media and on the guests' reactions and behavior. State visits to Berlin illuminate the heavy performative and emotional burden placed on all participants. Being aware of the possibilities for self-presentation offered by state visits, West German officials incorporated state visitors into their symbolic battle for reunification. A visit to Berlin with extensive media coverage was, therefore, of prime importance for the German hosts. Despite their sophisticated visualization strategies, total control of events was impossible. Some visitors did not want to play their allotted role and avoided certain sites in Berlin, refused to be accompanied by journalists or cancelled their trips altogether.