One of my favorite classes to teach these days is my fairly new one called "Space and Place in the Global United States".  This is the third time I've taught it and I believe it will be the best.  I've slowly wrestled formidable mountains of spatial theory into something I can make functional for the students--while still managing to fit in coverage of everything from historical patterns of Vietnamese settlement in New Orleans to the first performance of "4'33" to the enduring cultural and regional significance of the taquachito.  It is a fun class to teach, and the diversity and quality of the student research projects at the end makes the often grueling semester worthwhile.

The class starts out by taking a look at a collection of my photos of migrant spaces in North Carolina and Virginia (and a few from Nashville).  It occurred to me that I never linked through to the site maintained by the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond.  Here is the site

This gives me a chance to sing the praises of the Digital Scholarship Lab, which did an amazing job on this site as they have on their other projects (which are quite different).  I actually developed the class initially as part of the Tocqueville Seminar at the University of Richmond in 2010, so this has been a very fruitful relationship overall.

Thinking of "4'33", I wanted to mention that last year, the student response to hearing "4'33" when we studied soundscape and the conenctions between silence/noise/music and other issues was almost unbelievably hostile. I wasn't totally surprised, but it was a bit intense.  I am hoping that perhaps fortifying them with Kay Larson's concise article in the most recent issue of Buddhadharma might mitigate the impact a bit.  We'll see.

Since you can read just an excerpt online if you are not a subscriber, you might as well just buy her new book on John Cage, it is worth reading in full.


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