Field Journaling Techniques in the GeoHumanities

Authors: Maleea Acker*, University of Victoria
Topics: Cultural Geography, Environmental Perception, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: geohumanities, geopoetics, visual art, field journal, practice, praxis, metaphor, contemplation, perception, meditative practice, emotion
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My paper focuses on artistic practice in the GeoHumanities with undergraduate human geography students. Specifically, I address the use of field journaling techniques (as used by Lyn Baldwin, Thomson Rivers University, BC), memory mapping (as practiced by Marlene Creates, visual artist, Newfoundland), and writing and metaphor exercises (such as I have taught as a creative writing instructor in past years) to introduce social science students to enhanced perception, meditative practice and emotional response to landscape. Many of my students would not consider themselves artists, but recognize the benefits of learning to see from a perspective other the rationalist, Cartesian, dualism often foregrounded in the social sciences. The use of visual art practices and the use of metaphor in order to holistically understand our relationships with the world strike me as important when designing and teaching the GeoHumanities. Exposure to these practices, as well as to the study of humanities and fine arts techniques, results in a different classroom format (increased field study, but not for the purpose of categorization) and different learning outcomes (an emphasis on practice, theory and emotion, rather than on memorization or technical skill).

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