Pitfall #1: Encouraging Propaganda

Maps are not facts. They are also not objective. Rather, maps are a way of telling a story. Historically, maps have been used as a way to tell fictional stories of land ownership and the need for intervention of allegedly “weak”, “underdeveloped”, or “undemocratic” states. With this history in mind,

Pitfall #2: Claiming Ownership

Maps reinforce ideas about ownership – both over the ideas and the land represented. When settlers were first colonizing the United States, they used cartography and the authority of a written document to justify displacing indigenous people from their lands. When we create maps about others who have less power as a

Pitfall #3: Forming Extractive Relationships

Oftentimes, when academics create maps, we extract information from the communities we attempt to “explain” without ever actually ameliorating the conditions we are allegedly working to fight. As a research process, this is unjust and extractive, especially when we are given large grants to do this work. The more that

Pitfall #4: Normalizing Surveillance

Ultimately, when you’re pitching for that next social justice mapping project, think to yourself: whose interest is this map serving? Am I just doing a project because I want to do something “good”, but really normalizing the processes of extraction (see last blog post) and surveillance? Scholars Evelyn Nakano Glenn

An Interview with Myself

This commentary was originally posted on December 8, 2017, to the Electronic Literature class blog for Digital Studies 220 at Davidson College.  What do you usually write about in your posts? Are there broad themes or specific concerns that reoccur in your writing? Themes, yes. Many common themes. The other day, I did an

On “How to Rob the American Electorate”: An Artist Statement and Reflection

This commentary was originally posted on December 6, 2017, to the Electronic Literature class blog for Digital Studies 220 at Davidson College.  Earlier this semester, our class was presented with the opportunity to choose one work of digital literature to focus on extensively in the format of a Let’s Play video. Having

Mental Illness in Electronic Literature Tropes

This commentary was originally posted on October 30, 2017, to the Electronic Literature class blog for Digital Studies 220 at Davidson College.  The political philosopher Hannah Arendt once stated, “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” In

Power to the People (All of Them)

This commentary was originally posted on October 23, 2017, to the Electronic Literature class blog for Digital Studies 220 at Davidson College.  This past week, I had the tremendous opportunity to attend the 21st annual PopTech conference. I was one of few undergraduate students who was provided this opportunity. The conference is

Only Linear Narratives Have a Wrong Way

This commentary was originally posted on October 18, 2017, to the Electronic Literature class blog for Digital Studies 220 at Davidson College.  Good morning, Electronic Literature. Doing the Let’s Play video for this class has motivated me to think of these blogging assignments more as conversations and less as papers that require

The Institutional Response Generator: Your Hot, New, Go-To Tragedy Response Bot

This commentary was originally posted on September 17, 2017, to the Electronic Literature class blog for Digital Studies 220 at Davidson College.  The Tracery Project as a platform excites me because it gives an avenue for less technically advanced, but highly procedural minds to explore the predictability of texts. When I say

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