Monday, October 15, 2007

Personal Geographies and other Maps of the Imagination

I am ordering a new book called You Are Here : Personal Geographies and other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon. You can explore it in Google Books--

Tom Lau, our new art teacher, has a wonderful lesson on Identity Mapping using examples in Harmon's book.
His questions:
Where do I fit in the landscape?
Where shall I go?
What values will I pack for the trip?
What culture of knowledge allows me to know what I know?

Harmon says, " The coded visual language of maps is one we all know, but in making maps of our world we each have our own dialect." Further, Stephen S. Hall, author of Mapping the Next Millennium (1992)says, "It is hard to look at a map without sensing, in our bones, private hopes and secret fears about change."

After hearing Mr. Lau's wonderful lesson, I could imagine students wanting to build an elective on Mapping, which could include not only geography and orienteering, but all kinds of mapping, such as genetic mapping. Maps are a way to show our belief in exploration and how humans relate to the planet --mapping is usually a way that we "make do" with incomplete information as we make choices and decisions. Hall, says Perhaps the most important things maps show is "all the things we still do not know".

Judy Gressel

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