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Culture Mapping 2020


Thanks to all who joined us for a fantastic symposium! To view recordings of our sessions, please follow the links in the program below, or view the whole conference playlist here. The public conference guide, which includes shared links, bios, and our code of conduct, is available here.
We look forward to continuing the conversation and seeing you again (perhaps in person!) next year!



Friday, April 17

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Excavating Spatial Narratives: Built & Natural Environments
View the Recording

“Ode to the Subway: Death to the Urban Village”
Bo McMillan, Columbia University
“Landscape of Buddhas: Geospatial analysis of rock-carved images in the mountains of South Korea”
Elizabeth Lee, New York University

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Mediating Resistance: The Art of Activist Landscapes
Moderated by Dr. Nick Wolf, New York University
View the Recording

“‘¡YA BASTA!’: Toward an Ontological Turn of Latinidad within Digital Art”
George Ramírez, New York University
“Excavating U.S. Activist Film Distribution Networks with Digital Mapping Tools” (lightning talk)
Tanya Goldman, New York University

2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Activating Local History: Collections & Community
Moderated by Maggie Iuni, New York University
View the Recording

“QUEENSBOUND: Telling the Stories of Queens” (lightning talk)
KC Trommer, NYU Gallatin
“Making archives more accessible through data, design, and collaboration”
Sam Addeo & Ben Smyth, Urban Archive
“Mapping the Frick Photograph Campaigns, 1922–1967”
Ellen Prokop & Paul Bendernagel, The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
“From MARC to Decimal: Building Brooklyn Historical Society’s Online Map Portal”
Maggie Schreiner & Laura Juliano, Brooklyn Historical Society

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
A Tale of Two Cities: Sur Before and After
Moderated by Prof. Tom Augst, New York University
View the Recording

In this virtual conversation, Idil Onen, Anna Rebrii, William Scarfone, and Anna Greunig discuss their work studying and modeling displacement in Diyarkbakir, the largest city in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey. Their collaborative project aims to analyze the forced migration from Sur which took place during the 2015-2016 military operations and curfews period, as well as critically examine the subsequent reconstruction/regeneration of the city and its urban landscape and the impact of these processes on the demographic composition of the district, using methods including testimonial gathering, 360° recording and photogrammetric 3D reconstruction.

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Unreliable Evidence: Preserving (Un)certainty
Moderated by Prof. Tom Augst, New York University
View the Recording

“Mapping Slave Conspiracies”
Bryan Wagner, UC Berkeley
“Part of Me Now Somewhere Else: In and Out of the False Memory Archive”
Alex Sutter, North Carolina State University

5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Keynote Address: Kubi Ackerman
View the Recording

Kubi Ackerman is a consultant and designer who also works as a curator, most recently of the exhibition Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers at the Museum of the City of New York, which showcases the work of artists and designers working with census data and other demographic data. With expertise in applying visual narrative techniques to complex urban problems, he is currently collaborating on projects with Thinc Design, the National Building Museum, and the Climate Museum. From 2015 to 2019, he was the Director of the Future City Lab at the Museum of the City of New York, and he has held positions at the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design and at the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute, Columbia University.

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Virtual Reception

We’ll stay live until 7:00, giving participants the chance to chat, share information, and spark collaboration! We hope you’ll join us for this free-form virtual gathering.


Saturday, April 18

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.
Keynote Address: Dr. Hannah Alpert-Abrams
View the Recording

Hannah Alpert-Abrams is a program specialist in digital humanities and a scholar specializing in information science, book history, and digital humanities. Her research focuses on the use of technology to work against inequity, improve transparency, and build community in the humanities. She has written about the role of technology in the circulation of colonial texts and vulnerable archives in the U.S. and Latin America. She is the founder of the Postdoctoral Laborers, the Job Market Support Network, and the Reading the First Books Project, and former project manager for the d-AHPN.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Ethnographic Approaches to Culture Mapping
View the Recording

“The Hand That Fed Me: Food, Memory, and Resilience in the Diasporas of Sri Lanka”
Isa Spoerry, NYU XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement
“Attica in Twelve Landscapes: Carceral Cultures and Abolitionist Futures” (lightning talk)
Allie Fischgrund
“Migrant Spaciality: Mexican-American migratory movements and the diaspora”
Liliana Lule, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“Mediating Testimonies of Spaces of Confinement: Mapping and Visualizing the Kraków Ghetto”
Christine Liu, Duke University
“Visualizing Ethnographic Findings Through Dance Film”
Hannah Haines

12:40 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Body Mindfulness for the “Work from Home” Moment: Guided Stretch
View the Recording

For many of us, social distancing in the age of COVID-19 has meant working from home and spending less time moving. Join yoga instructor Julia Catalano in a guided body mindfulness activity and learn some quick stretches you can do during short breaks from your work!

Note: Some stretches will assume you have a desk or table and chair. Please exercise caution and listen to your body when participating. By taking part, you agree to release both NewYorkScapes and the facilitator of liability.

Julia Catalano is a yoga instructor and a graduate of the NYU English MA program. Perhaps surprisingly, her work teaching yoga largely inspired her MA thesis, which explored trauma, phenomenology, border studies, and fashion theory in Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Pedagogies for Digital Futures
Moderated by Tanya Schmidt, New York University
View the Recording

“Empire’s Progeny: Race and Imperialism in the Americas”
Lance Thurner, Rutgers University
Guided Discussion & Group Share: Digital Pedagogies for our Moment
We encourage you all to bring your own stories and experiences to this conversation, especially given the recent surge in remote learning!

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Underground Geographies
Moderated by Yolanda Mackey, New York University
View the Recording

“The Crystal Palace and the Underground Cell: Speculative Visions of Globalization”
Brenda Wang, UCLA
“Fugitives From Justice: Black Women’s Cartographies, Tricking the Tricks, & Incarceration, 1915-1935” (Canceled)
jub Sankofa, Yale University

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Rethinking the Map
View the Recording

“A Map is 1000 Decisions and You Only Made 20: Why your most important layer is the basemap”
RJ Ramey, auut studio
“A Critical Analysis and Parody of ‘On Exactitude in Science’ to Represent Postmodernity”
Alice Bi, UMD College Park

5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Futures Present: Destabilizing Temporality
Moderated by Richard Porteous, New York University
View the Recording

“Sino-Fi Web Fiction, Film, and Period Drama”
Sheng-mei Ma, Michigan State University
“The Future = Past + Our Desire: An Artistic Inquiry into Visualizations of Time”
Olga Ast, ArcheTime Project


Organizing Committee & Event Support

Grace Afsari-Mamagani, Doctoral Candidate, Department of English
Nicholas Wolf, Data Management Librarian, NYU Libraries & Co-PI, NewYorkScapes
Thomas Augst, Associate Professor, Department of English & Co-PI, NewYorkScapes
Maggie Iuni, M.A. Candidate, Department of English
Saronik Bosu, Doctoral Candidate, Department of English
Alyssa Leal, Department Manager, English and Dramatic Literature