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Reflecting on the 1980s Course

Belinda Carlisle was right: heaven is indeed a place on earth. For me that would be the  experience of teaching my American Conflicts and Cultures in the 1980s course. I, of course, equally loved my Digital Image of the City course as I discussed earlier, but teaching the 1980s was just…fun? Perhaps it’s that as a child of the 1980s, I could step back in time and make recent policy, legal, and social shifts resonate in the bodies and minds of young people born in the late 1990s. Actually, it was attaining that learning objective with a group of really incredible, curious students that was all the fun.

In this post, I’ll share how the course unfolded and how I structured teaching a decade so that it mattered to my students. As a project of public humanities, students worked together to build a timeline of the key events of the …

Reflections on The Digital Image of the City: Hartford 2015

The Digital Image of the City, American Studies, Trinity College 2015. Standing, left to right: Andrew Fishman ’16, Madelaine Feakins ’16, Rick Naylor ’16, Dalton Judd ’16, Assistant Professor of American Studies Jack Gieseking, and Callie McLaughlin ’16. Seated, left to right: Molly Mann ’16 and Georgianna Wynn ’16. CC BY-SA-NC Trinity College 2015.The Digital Image of the City, American Studies, Trinity College 2015. Standing, left to right: Andrew Fishman ’16, Madelaine Feakins ’16, Rick Naylor ’16, Dalton Judd ’16, Assistant Professor of American Studies Jack Gieseking, and Callie McLaughlin ’16. Seated, left to right: Molly Mann ’16 and Georgianna Wynn ’16. CC BY-SA-NC Trinity College 2015.

As the new semester is upon us–how did that happen so quickly?–I wanted to reflect back on my courses from last semester. I had a beautiful first semester at Trinity College, thanks mostly to those incredible faculty, staff, and students with whom I spend my days.

My senior seminar, The Digital Image of the City, which was a huge success–or so said the students on the final day, all smiley as they were on the last day (and as you can see on the image in the left)! I share a short explanation about …

Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon a Success!

As I just wrote on the Gender & Geography Bibliography (GGB) website, during Geography Awareness Week in mid-November 2015, over 49 individuals and groups participated in the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon! Over a 1,000 new entries–many of them sorely missing books, book chapters, and articles, a large number of which are blissfully not in English–now fill the GGB. Thank you to all who participated and cheered us on!

For those of you who still want to take part in the Hackathon, follow these instructions which explain in more detail how to head to our group at https://www.zotero.org/groups/gendergeog/ and request to join and Jack Gieseking (lead admin) will get a note to add you. From there, you and perhaps your friends–perhaps this is the new wild idea for wine night amongst the feminist dorks among us?? how fantastic–and follow the directions in previous posts. Email jack DOT gieseking …

Details for the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon

I am delighted to share that the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon will take place November 15th-21st, 2015. A hackathon is a time when a group of people come together to work on a digital project, usually by coding and creating content for an app or website. Skills and time involved are minimal. The outcome is a profound source of public knowledge across fields, as well as training in the citation management software, Zotero.

We are eagerly seeking faculty, students, staff, & citizens who want to take part any time and anywhere during the week of 11/15 to add to and edit the now 3,000+ large online, citation database of feminist geographic sources. We are particularly keen to have folks contribute books, book chapters, and multimedia citations from across disciplines, and we are extremely eager for contributions of non-English materials. Folks can work on their own or form their …

Slides from “Queering the Map” Talk

My slides from my Futures Initiative talk, “Queering the Map: Theoretical Reflections on Spatial Methods,” at the CUNY Graduate Center this Friday (October 2nd) can be found below, and the Storify, notes, and photos from the talk can be found here on the FI blog.

As is the usual (and never the norm, wrote the queer theorist) for my approach, I drew upon both feminist and queer approaches for this project. While this talk highlighted the queer aspects of my project, an earlier talk this year at SDSU. “Personal/Political/Feminist Maps,” focused on the feminist dynamics and those slides can be found here. A number of paper are forthcoming from the intersection of both talks, including the piece I am presently working on: “Size Matters to Lesbians Too: Feminist and Queer Contributions to the Scale of Big Data.”

My thanks …

Talk on 10/2: Queering the Map

The Futures Initiative. 2015. "Queering the Map." Graduate Center CUNY.The Futures Initiative. 2015. “Queering the Map.” Graduate Center CUNY.

I’m over the moon that 1) I do not have the flu as I did last February when I had to cancel this talk, and 2) I finally get to give this talk at my alma mater with the brilliant, wonderful people at the Futures Initiative. It will be great to share my thoughts on selecting the right tool to fit the right public humanities project, particularly in regards to multiple layers of data analysis and collaboration in my Queer Public Archives project. The detailed abstract is below.

WHERE: The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
ROOM:   9204-9205
WHEN:   October 2, 2015, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
CONTACT INFO: futuresinitiative [at] gc.cuny.edu; (212) 817-7201
WATCH ONLINE: http://bit.ly/futuresed-live
RSVP NOW
HASHTAG: #futuresED

In The Practice of Everyday Life, de Certeau writes that “What the map cuts up, the story cuts across.” But what

Announcing the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon: Nov 15th-21st!

I am delighted to share that the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon (GGBH) will take place from November 15th through the 21st, 2015. My own role in this project has involved most of the conceptualization and leadership, especially with the fabulous Laura Shillington of John Abbott College, so that this means so much to see it come to life!

A hackathon is a time when a group of people come together to work on a digital project together, usually by coding and creating content for an app or website. Skills and time involved are minimal and the outcome is a profound source of public knowledge for our various fields, as well as useful training in the citation management software, Zotero, to use our Zotero group (#71378).

We are eagerly seeking faculty, students, and staff who want to take part any time and anywhere during that week in adding to

About the Rainbow Heritage Network

In the last month while moving to Hartford and getting settled in my new office at Trinity, I am happy to share that I joined the founding Board of Directors of the Rainbow Heritage Network (RHN). RHN is a national organization for the recognition and preservation of LGBTQ+ sites, history, and heritage. While always one for conspiring with archivists, librarians, historians, and their various home turfs, my collaboration with preservationists and archaeologists is a new endeavor that emerged from my roll in the LGBTQ Monuments Advisory Council of Scholars of the US National Parks Service. I am particularly keen in observing and helping to support the truly wide-ranging and radical representations of LGBTQQTSTSIA life that exist within the US and in relation to the US. I am also devoted to working with the RHN to think about our preservation efforts play a roll in the gentrification and financialization of …

New Publication: Crossing Over into Territories of the Body (Area)

2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City. Area. doi: 10.1111/area.12147. 2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City. Area. doi: 10.1111/area.12147.

I am pleased to report that my new article in Area, “Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City,” is available via preview! As I am unable to pay the $3k-$5k fee to make this article open access (per the Wiley-Blackwell requirement to do so), you can (legally) download a pre-print version of the article for free by clicking here are on the image to the left. Enjoy! The abstract is also below. Many thanks to Sara H. Smith and her student colleagues who brought to life the AAG 2012 sessions on bodies, borders, and territories together and this following special issue.

2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer …

New Publication: “Urban Margins on the Move” in Berlin Blätter

My short reflection piece, “Urban Margins on the Move: Rethinking LGBTQ Inclusion by Queering the Place of the Gayborhood,” is now out in the Berlin Blätter with a focus on the shifting relationships between the center and margin, both material and metaphorical. I address this idea through the lens of LGBTQ neighborhoods, gentrification, and the work of feminist theorist bell hooks. The full text of the piece, as it is so short, is pasted below. Enjoy!

2015. Gieseking, J. Urban Margins on the Move: Rethinking LGBTQ Inclusion by Queering the Place of the Gayborhood. Berliner Blätter – Ethnographische und ethnologische Beiträge, 68, 43-35.

Urban Margins on the Move: Rethinking LGBTQ Inclusion by Queering the Place of the Gayborhood

Jen Jack Gieseking

We could enter that world but we could not live there. We had always to return to the margin, to cross the tracks to shacks and abandoned

New Publication: “Useful In/Stability” in Radical History Review

I am delighted to announce the publication of “Useful Instability: the Queer Social and Spatial Production of the Lesbian Herstory Archives” in Radical History Review. The article is in the second of a two part special issue on “Queering Archives” titled “Queering Archives” Intimate Tracings,” both of which were edited by Daniel Marshall, Zeb Tortorici, and Kevin Murphy. The abstract and full citation are below, and a link to an open access version of this article is above. My thanks again to the Lesbian Herstory Archives for the work they do and place they keep that inspired this piece!

Queer theory’s embrace of instability paints stabilizing practices as normalizing and unjust. Rather than upholding a stance of opposition by championing instability alone, what can be gleaned for queer theory by examining the tension of the in/stability dialectic? This essay reflects on the author’s own embodied experience as researcher within …

Assistant Professor Gieseking Has Arrived

The view from my window in Seabury Hall. CC BY-NC Jen Jack Gieseking 2014.The view from my window in Seabury Hall.
CC BY-NC Jen Jack Gieseking 2015

I am delighted to share that I am Assistant Professor of Public Humanities in the American Studies Program at Trinity College as of yesterday. Hurrah! I will be blogging soon about how I imagine and enact public humanities in my research, and how I frame it as part of my teaching. I applied for an received a competitive Community Learning Initiative grant to support my development of “The Digital Image of the City” course at Trinity with a focus on Hartford. I will also be teaching “Conflicts & Cultures American Society: the 1980s” through the lens of gender and sexuality in that period, from the Barnard conference to AIDS, from Reagan’s cowboy past to the neutered but vibrant Saturday morning cartoon characters. I am honored and excited to be a part of the Trinity faculty and …

Updates to the Gender, Sexuality, & Space Reading List

Although I add readings to my Gender, Sexuality, and Space Reading List about every six months, it’s been a few years since I did a detailed review to include any and all possible cites. The list has been extended by about 200 sources as a result!

The Gender, Sexuality, and Space Reading List builds primarily from my experience as a geographer and an environmental psychologist. I welcome colleagues and visitors to recommend other works in the field below in any format (text, film, art, music, performance, etc.). This page is updated about twice a year with new literature.

I also recommend checking out the Gender and Geography Reading List which I help to support, a much longer term project.

Interviewed for “Mental Maps & the Neuroscience of Neighborhood Blight” in Pacific Standard

I was recently quoted in Rick Paulas’ “Mental Maps and the Neuroscience of Neighborhood Blight” for Pacific Standard. It’s incredibly exciting to see critical geographic work in the public eye.

I excerpt the selections where I was interviewed from the end of the article below:

For a contemporary example of this phenomenon, check out the media’s portrayal of the Black Lives Matter movement. Protests become riots, protestors become thugs, dramatic images of broken windows and burning cars are beamed to white, middle-class viewers who have never been inside the neighborhoods being covered. “[Viewers] presume the neighborhoods are violent,” says Jack Jen Gieseking, a postdoctoral fellow in New Media and Data Visualization at Bowdoin College. “And blame the people within them rather than thinking about how those neighborhoods got that way.” …

Racist practices like redlining, used from the 1930s through the ’60s to deny loans, insurance, supermarkets, and health coverage …

On Behalf of Queer Archives: Recounting the QIS Workshop a Year Later

In celebration of the year since the absolutely magical Queer Internet Studies (QIS) workshop, I went and realized that the final notes from our conversations never posted. Oy! I take solace in the fact these even exist and can still be shared. As described in this great final post from the QIS site by my colleague, friend, and QIS co-organizer partner in crime, Jessa Lingel, most of our panelists and presenters highlighted the digitization and import of queer archives, including the likes in New York City alone of the Downtown Collection at NYU, NY Public Library Gay and Lesbian & AIDS/HIV Archives, LGBT Community Center National History Archive, Lesbian Herstory Archives, and OutHistory.org.

When we broke into discussion groups at the end of the day, our conversations repeated five key topics.

  • The internet affords a space to convey the import of our queer history

Society & Space Book Review:: Uneven trading: Gieseking on Harris

My most recent book review of Tina HarrisGeographical Diversions: Tibetan Trade, Global Transactions (UGA Press) is now up on the Society & Space website.

Geographical Diversions is a well written ethnographic contribution to the study of mobilities, fixities, and trade, with a focus on trade routes in Nepal, Tibet (or Tibetan Autonomous Region, i.e. TAR), India, and China. In her first monograph, anthropologist and geographer Tina Harris traces the “properties, spatial origins, and trajectories of commodities” that serve to fix some geographies while rendering others mobile and free. Moving between ethnographic thick descriptions of traders’ precarious stop and start movements over dangerous and shifting routes, dull-yet-revitalized British colonial diaries, local and international newspaper clippings and archival records, and interviews with traders, the book is a dialogue between geocultural and geopolitical economies of those living and trading across national, regional, and local scales. Unable to reproduce Owen Lattimore’s …

Recounting #QueerData: Desire and Tension in the Production of Media Ecologies #AAG2015

To honor Jim Blaut's efforts, the award will recognize a scholar who, over the course of her/his life, has used a geographic and historical analysis of capitalism to explain current social injustices and inequalities, and promoted activism against oppressive power relations both within and outside the academy. Award winner Cindi Katz is Professor of Geography in Environmental Psychology & Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Full List of Readings for CLAGS Queer(ing) New York Course

In the spring of 2013, I taught Queer(ing) New York as a Seminar in the City course with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The focus of the course was as follows: While lgbtq studies has begun to extend itself to look at rural and other non-urban environments, much of the urban still remains to be accounted for, particularly difference within the city. To truly account for our difference, we must queer the city in the way it normalizes groups and spaces, and New York City is the exciting urban environment to begin within. In this Seminar in the City, we will read work that challenges and queers the normalized histories and spaces of lgbtq life. How can we queer the neighborhood, bar, streets, and bodies within it to tell stories of difference?

I often …