Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Strange Maps

Increasingly fascinated (like everyone else) by notions of place, I have been really enjoying You are here: Personal geographies and other maps of the imagination (Katherine Harmon, 2004).

Those very personal mappings and a growing appreciation of the beauty of maps led me to these (a 1570 Swiss map of Europe as a Queen and an 1838 map showing how Australia might have been partitioned) and a whole range of other fascinating and Strange Maps.

I was hit # 2,091,183 so I don't think the site is much of a secret. Well worth a visit if you haven't already been there.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Not everything is digital

Not everything is digital, nor does it need to be.

Scott Carney has reported for Wired on The Musalman. Established in 1927, the paper is hand-written in Urdu and circulated in the city of Chennai, India.

India has 45974 newspapers (circa 2001). While the majority are published in Hindi, 5364 newspapers are published in over 100 languages. The Musalman, with its beautiful calligraphy, is part of the vast array of newsprint published and distributed across India.

The diversity of textual practices across location, times, purposes, technologies and cultural contexts is pretty exciting!

Urban intersections

Its exciting when stuff you're randomly reading intersects in interesting and unexpected ways.

Currently I'm reading Paris: The secret history (Andrew Hussey), City Reading: Written words and public spaces in antebellum New York (David Henkin) and now the website Citygraphy. From diverse perspectives, each source is tracing the development of public culture in urban sites. The roles of written and visual texts as well as architecture and the development of public spaces are taken up in interesting ways. Really interesting stuff and decidedly related to the emerging shift towards looking more specifically at place, space and time in relation to textual practice.

Ah, when men were men and women wore nice aprons and the world was a better place

This is hilarious (but not).

I don't think that I look this happy when I'm in the kitchen washing up while the men are in the living room playing a 'family' board game. However, as my partner suggests, the men may well have cooked dinner. Yeah, right!

From http://flickr.com/photos/sepultura/800379286/

Friday, July 13, 2007

2007 UKLA digital literacy SIG symposium

Swansea University campus

Our digital literacies SIG hosted a symposium of PGR students at the UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association) International Conference held at Swansea University last week.

Great papers were presented by Cathy Burnett (Shifting identities within initial teacher education), Naomi Hamer (Playing across print and digital texts) and Becky Parry (Reading and rereading 'Shrek'). Each presentation showed their diverse and sophisticated takes on issues linked to a range of literate practices. In the two years since the SIG started it has been exciting to see the way the digital literacies field has morphed into something exciting and full of diversity. Keep an eye out for these women - they're doing fabulous stuff!

Photo of Becky and Naomi preparing for the session.

2007 Lubetkin Prize for architecture

We are increasingly interested in the design and uses of urban space. The Lubetkin Prize is awarded to the most outstanding architectural work constructed outside the UK by an RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) member.

This year the prize has been awarded to Southern Cross Station in Melbourne. While the structure is essentially a big, undulating shed roof, according to the judges "its vocation is as a civic structure. It is a point of entry to the city and, critically, it makes a space connecting the new and old parts of the town". The blend of structural integrity and beauty is stunning. Congratulations to the architects, Grimshaw, and to Melbourne!