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David Cooper: Literary GIS

David discussed an interesting shift from quantitative to qualitative GIS; idea of using GIS for the interpretation of space within literary texts.

David summarised some of the major issues that have been explored during the network so far as follows:

  • The movement away from GIS on the computer screen to handheld technology
  • The relationship between spatial experience and the representation of space
  • Fieldwork: considering spaces when in the material environment.
  • Handheld devices for embodied spatial experience.
  • Augmented reality for teaching.

Looking forward, to literary GIS, David felt that is was important to consider:

  • Commercial potential (e.g. iPhone apps)
  • Pedagogic potential (What does it means to “do” literary studies out in the field? How do we map out imagined geographies? Potential for interdisciplinary teaching – use of augmented reality to develop student’s geographical understanding of space and place, Possibility of developing a module connecting space, place, technology and text).
  • Theoretical potential (use of hand held devices to retrace literary tours, raises theoretical questions – relationships between embodied self, material world etc, developing further relationships between cartographical and textual representations of place – actual and imagined geographies).
  • Knowledge transfer (possible future literature development project? Possibility of working with The Reader Organisation – national reader development programme based in Liverpool; possibility of a series of workshops to encourage participants to map out Liverpool via GIS/GPS, to think more generally about poetry of place and develop maps based on participant’s reading experiences; possible tie-in with “Popular Musicscapes” and “Mapping the City in Film” to develop a rich cultural/intertexual map of Liverpool; development of multi-media poetic maps etc.)