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New Research Project: Trans Tumblr

For about two years, I’ve been collecting data on the use of the #ftm hashtag and, for a shorter time, #mtf hashtag on Tumblr. These oft used trans hashtags, standing for female-to-male and male-to-female respectively, drew my attention as I was coming into my own trans identity. I came upon the world of trans Tumblr, as I call it, in 2010 when I was choosing my own new name. I found a tightly-knit network of trans people who are otherwise unanchored through their geographic diaspora. They were mostly very young, publicly sharing and connecting about the everyday violence and life milestones, accomplishments and losses that fuel life in general and trans life specifically. I was particularly struck by the small number of voices that dominated the conversation, as well as the suicide notes that would float to the surface and the resounding and instant response of those around them …

Talk: Personal/Political/Feminist Maps at SDSU Feminist Social Justice Conference

I am blissfully attending and participating in the Feminist Social Justice Conference at San Diego State University, a Workshop on Participatory and Feminist Research Methods to give the talk “Personal/Political/Feminist Maps: Reflections on Spatial Methods for Action Research.” The abstract and slides are below — I expect those who will find them most helpful are dealing with how to work with spatial methods and layering different data types and sorts in order to place them into conversation. I especially highlight mental mapping in conversation with the GIS platforms QGIS and Mapbox, with helpful hints on all as to how to move forward using the methods and analytics in your own research. One addition: my own 2013 paper on the methods and analytic techniques for mental mapping can be found here.

In The Practice of Everyday Life, de Certeau writes that “What the map cuts up, the story cuts …

Queer and Urban Reflections on St. Petersburg BUKA Alumni Meeting

The following is a post I recently shared with the American Friends of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation blog in reflection to the German Chancellor Fellow / Bundeskanzler-Stipendium (BUKA) Alumni Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in November 2014.

I doubt I can express how honored, nervous, and excited I was to attend the BUKA Meeting in St. Petersburg this fall. However, as a BUKA, I persist.

The sense of honor came from having been selected as an American representative at the Russian gathering. I admire a lot of the research emerging in the Russian social sciences, a passion that developed through my conversations as a BUKA with Dr. Olga Sveshnikova, Visiting Scholar in the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen. Her work examines the culture of Soviet-era anthropological digs as a production of Soviet myth and history. Sveshnikova’s project always fascinated me and left …

New article: Notes from Queer(ing) New York: Refusing Binaries in Online Pedagogy

My new article with the Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy just launched this morning. You can read Notes from Queer(ing) New York: Refusing Binaries in Online Pedagogy by clicking here or read the abstract below.

In this paper I reflect on the construction and instruction of the outcomes of the Queer(ing) New York course (QNY). The case study of QNY demonstrates the pedagogical work of refusing norms and hierarchies that pedagogical models, particularly online courses, are assumed to maintain. QNY created an open course that queered the binaries of the public/graduate seminar and local/virtual. I draw from queer, feminist, and critical geographic approaches at the moment of the massive, open, online course (MOOC) fervor in order to queer models of online and open education. I also reflect on the impact of the course through in-class notes and data visualizations produced from social media and course analytics. I suggest that

Arriving in DC to Talk the Future of LGBT Monuments

LGBTQ Yarn Bomb in Soho. June 2014. CC BY-NC Jen Jack Gieseking 2014LGBTQ Yarn Bomb in Soho. June 2014. CC BY-NC Jen Jack Gieseking 2014

I am one of the 18 LGBT Studies scholars invited by the Secretary of the Interior to come to DC this week and give recommendations for policies in selecting future US LGBT monuments. I am honored, thrilled, and inspired. I never would have imagined when I was coming out in the early 1990s that such monuments would ever exist, let alone I would be part of this conversation.

Representing the gender, racial, class, generational, age, and geographic diversity of our history is the top priority of those scholars who will be coming together tomorrow to discuss this work. As the geographer of the group, I will pay special attention to making sure we speak not only to the urban or the coasts but the rural, suburban, and other parts of our countries. We may not associate certain

Visualizing ‘Queer Exchange’ Friendships

I am increasingly interested in the social networks of queers, broadly and self-defined. One of the largest queer groups on Facebook that I know of is the Facebook group Queer Exchange with 7,855 members as of December 1, 2013. Each node or dot represents a person and the lines or edges indicate the friendships between them. Rather than a top-down culture, Queer Exchange repeats the interwoven and overlapping descriptions of queer spaces and lives that have described lgbtq life across cities, states, and times. In other words, many cultures often demonstrate relationships and dynamics that show some dominant voices overtaking others, or friends being connected to only one other person so they wander on the periphery. Instead this graph shows an interwoven society.

If you click the here or on the graph below, you can interact with the social network analysis graph of Queer Exchange I created.

User friendships on the Facebook group Queer Exchange as of December 1, 2013.  The 7,855 group members indicates how connections between queers overlapping rather than built replicating top-down cultures of interchange and expression. Created by Jen Jack Gieseking CC BY-NC 2013Click on the…

Sharing the #CLAGSqNY Twitter Hashtag Archive & Its Relationships

For those of you interested not only in the conversations we shared in the “Queer(ing) New York” Seminar in the City I taught with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in the spring of 2013–that are available via video on this site or in the comments below each week’s post for the course for those who talked in the chat window–the Twitter hashtag archive for #CLAGSqNY is now available below.

I have also rendered a social network analysis of Twitter mentions of various individual’s handles (namely those in the class) who used the #CLAGSqNY hashtag. Each dot below is a person or group tweeting. Each line indicates they mentioned or were mentioned by someone else connected to them. A total of 502 tweets let us see that three major networks of communication (based on the colors of the connections) formed on Twitter: @CLAGSNY (Center for Lesbian and Gay …

First Lgbtq Book Review in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers

I just published what is the first book review on lgbtq spaces in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. If you do not sit at home nightly pouring over the flagship journal of the Association of American Geographers, you may not have noticed that in it’s 102 year history, it has never published a book review on lgbtq people, place, or space, or even one on any matter of geographies of sexualities. There have certainly been some key articles on these topics in the journal though, such as Michael Brown and Larry Knopp’s fantastic “Queering the map: the productive tensions of colliding epistemologies” in 2008. Regardless, dozens of books on geographies of sexualities and lgbtq geographies continue to be published at an ever increasing rate, and we now have the first book review in the top journal in the field. I am honored to be a …

Opaque is Being Polite: On Algorithms, Violence, & Awesomeness in Data Visualization

Data visualizations are fantastic stuff. Social network analysis, graphic analysis, video, spatial analysis, images, and all other types of #dataviz increasingly capture the imagination and inspire as a way to represent the oft mentioned big data. The failure of many of these new software and analyses in the hand of new, excited scholars and hackers and other excitable folks means that their meaning is often…opaque. Oh, let’s be honest, opaque is being polite. I am sharing these thoughts because while many of you are concerned with the data in big data, I want to turn your attention to the algorithms within and how they mask meanings in many ways.

To catch you up, I’m working on a sizeable dataset about lesbians and queer women’s lives, spaces, and experiences. I’ve stuck to actual categorical variables or regular counts of trends and produced some pretty exciting graphs so far all the …

Scalar Implications of Lesbian-Queer Organizing

I was sitting in what was a back bedroom of a brownstone in Brooklyn in the winter of 2008-9 and I was cold. Archives are often cold. The bedroom-cum-archives had become a records room that now hosts 11 seven-foot high filing cabinets bulging with the organizational and biographical history of lesbians. Around me, scores of boxes towered over me and a bookcase stuffed with comments, mementos, and original Wonder Women comics (which I read often during lunch) sat to my left. I was at—what else but—a dining room table with my legs nestled between more boxes underneath and wearing a knitted cap when I noticed a very interesting pattern in the organizational records of the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA) I was reviewing for my research. The pattern was about scale.

Not long ago scholars have argued that scale is socially produced (Smith 1992; Marston 2000). In other words, the …

Lesbian-Queer Organizations: Feminist, Women-Oriented, &/or Placed

This is the third in a series of posts on data visualizations I have created based on the complete records of all available lesbian-queer organizations in New York City at the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA). In my reading of LHA lesbians’ and queer women’s organizations’ purpose statements, I noticed a striking pattern of decreasing mentions of feminism in the organizational purpose statements over time coupled with a greater of cross-gender organizations. Furthermore, there was a considerable increase in the number of groups with access to permanent space to perform their work and organizing. While both changes speak to the radical cultural and economic shifts within lgbtq communities throughout this period, they are intriguing to place side-by-side to see our history anew. My statistical analyses of these numbers are forthcoming but the visualization of this data already afford significant insights into the shifts in everyday lesbian-queer life from 1983 to 2008, …

For #QueerGeo Conference Attendees: My Chapter “Queering the Meaning of ‘Neighborhood’”

My chapter “Queering the Meaning of ‘Neighborhood’: Reinterpreting the Lesbian-Queer Experience of Park Slope, Brooklyn, 1983–2008” regarding lesbian experience of fragmented and fleeting neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York City, is available for download today only at Parson’s Queer Urban Geographies (#queergeo) for conference-goers only. This chapter was recently released in Queer Presences & Absences (2013).

Click here for download. The password is available at the end of the Jack’s presentation.