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1: Introducing Digital Geographies

Welcome to GEO3146 Digital Geographies 2022.

No other technological innovation in human history has affected the practice of geography in such a profound way as the computer. It has drastically transformed both geography as an academic discipline and the geography of the world.

Sui and Morrill (2004) ” Computers and Geography” in Sui & Morrill Eds. Geography & Technology, Springer  Dordrecht: p. 84

AIMS

This module has two principal aims:

  1. to explore how we relate to one another and experience the world with and through ‘the digital’
  2. To look into the role of ‘the digital’ in the ways we understand ‘geography’.

The module will introduce you to the ways in which geographers have addressed the role of the digital in relation to understandings of space and place, political economic activities, identity and difference, and community, society and world.

Embedded in the module are two elements of my research: the forms of spatial imagination produced by and through innovation practices; and: the role of digital media in contemporary spatial experience and how this might be studied by geographers.

Further, the module will draw upon theory and empirical work from science and technology studies concerning the production of knowledge with and about digital technologies.

Through regular discussion and independent learning you will relate your studies of technology to your everyday experiences of everyday life. The module will also introduce transferable skills through the video coursework.

Whilst this is a ‘new’ module it has foundations in my previous option module GEO3139 Geographies of Technology.

You can find the full Key Information Set for the module on the university website.

“GROUND RULES”

This sounds a bit stern(!?) but its not meant to be. To make things manageable I need a set way of doing things:

  • Please OUTSIDE OF LECTURES/SEMINARS: ASK ALL QUESTIONS VIA COMMENTS ON BLOGPOSTS HERE (unless it is something embarrassing/personal or related to an ILP – in which case email me).
  • Please PARTICIPATE. Please engage with the tasks and please take part in the activities.

WHAT TO EXPECT

The module is an opportunity to think through many of things we take for granted in our everyday lives. I encourage you to explore – ideas, case studies – to broaden, challenge and deepen your understanding. It is fairly theoretical, but hopefully in a helpful way.

I want this to be interesting! I hope the examples and ideas I introduce you to are interesting. They are intended to be introductory – there is an emphasis here on you then finding out more through your independent study.

On a weekly basis you can expect:

  1. An introductory audio/video recording. This will provide you with some context and highlight the key ideas/examples we will explore that week.
  2. In-person, classroom-based, sessions that both introduce ideas and provide you with a way to pose questions. There will be an accompanying Padlet each week, embedded on this website, to facilitate you posing questions or making comments.
  3. One or Two asynchronous tasks: these may be reading things, watching videos and/or writing your own reflections.
  4. A Q&A via the comments section of the weekly blog.

ASSESSMENT

This module is 100% coursework – it is assessed by TWO pieces of coursework:

  1. A 2000-word essay (50%)
  2. A 5-7 minute video (50%)

I AM NOT MARKING YOU ON HOW GOOD YOU ARE AT MAKING VIDEOS. The video coursework can be completed in a fairly simplistic way. It need not be complex. I am marking you on how good you are at communicating an idea, not how well you can use the tech (ironic, I know).

Please see the module ELE page for the Assessment briefs, linked above.

DEADLINES

The deadlines for these courseworks should appear in your BART schedule. Please check your personal BART profile for more information.

TASK

We will be getting started fairly swiftly. This week is about getting orientated. There are three tasks:

  1. Attend the lectures [Time on Task: 100 minutes].
    • Lecture slides are linked at the bottom of this section.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the assessment briefs [Time on Task: approx. 40 minutes].
  3. Read two things (BOTH of them please) [Time on Task 80 minutes (40 each)]:
    1. Introducing Digital Geographies” – please read the short introduction to the book Digital Geographies edited by Ask, Leszczynski and Kitchin (The first section of the book – the three subsections entitled: ‘Digital Geographies’, ‘Defining the Digital’ and ‘The Digital Turn’ – approx. 8 pages). Click the link above to go to the library catalogue entry and then use the link on that page to access the book via Kortext.
    2. Changing Digital Geographies” – the first 11 pages of the introduction (don’t read the ‘methodology’). Click the link above to go to the library catalogue entry and then use the link on that page to access the book via VLE Books. NB. VLE books uses pop-up windows to launch the ‘reader’ window so you may need to change your settings to allow that.

4 replies on “1: Introducing Digital Geographies”

Hi Sam,

With the weekly tasks, will there be a compilation released (like a reading list by week) or will they just be released each week with their respective website post? I’ve seen there is a wider for the module but it doesn’t break down the literature into categories by week/topic so I’m not sure how I’d approach that

Hi Emily, yes – there will be a compilation of all of the reading in one place. I had tried to do this via the library, which may still happen, but at present I am copy-pasting the links into one blogpost. I intend to have this online by the end of the day on Friday.

Hi Sam,
I’m not able to make the 2 hour seminar next week from 9:35-11:25. Will this be recorded / can I access it online?
Thanks

Hi Rosie, seminars are not recorded. This is because they are over 90% student-led discussions and it would not be fair on those present in the room. I will post resources to the website to support you in independent study.

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