Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Place Memes

What is a place meme?

A good place to start is my paper of the same name: Place Memes.

In this blog I focus on two kinds of place meme.

The first is a more popular one in which maps or ideas about place go viral (i.e. horizontal transmission of ideas about place) or are culturally ambient or made pervasive through (geospatial) technologies and media.  Here's an example of what I mean: MapsMontreal.

The second is a more anthropological aspect in which maps or ideas about place are incorporated into longer term projects such as education or intergenerational knowledge transmission (i.e. elders handing place-based knowledge down to youth).  My doctoral work focused on this second aspect of place-based knowledge among the Cree of northern Quebec.

In the coming months, as I settle in to my new position as lecturer in the department of geography at Royal Holloway, I expect to be posting observations of my new life in London and Egham (where RHUL is situated).

I like to document and create (public) archives of maps.  Text based inscriptions of my observations on maps and place will be incorporated into this blog.

A place 'meme' is not only a thing, but an action, that of the movement and circulation of place-based representations through both time and space.  So, place 'memes' its way through society, its constructions and its discourses.

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