New book co-edited by York professor explores the ‘Cartographies of Place’

cartographies of place book cover cropped for YFile homepage
Janine Marchessault
Janine Marchessault

Janine Marchessault, professor of film in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization, is the co-editor of a new book, Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban, with Michael Darrouch, director of the IN/TERMINUS Creative Research Collective in the School for Arts and Creative Innovation at the University of Windsor.

In Cartographies of Place Marchessault and Darrouch develop new vocabularies and methodologies for engaging with the distinctive situations and experiences created by media and methodologies, which are reshaping, augmenting, and expanding urban spaces. The book offers insights from an international cohort comprised of 16 leading thinkers in humanities, cultural studies, film, sociology and more. Three members of the academy at York University are contributors; they include Sharon Hayashi, professor of film and media studies, York alumna Saara Liinamaa (PhD ‘11), postdoctoral fellow at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, and Markus Reisenleitner, director of the Graduate Program in Humanities in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

The cover of the book featuring abstract art, the title and author's nameThe contributors focus on the dramatic inclusion of media into the physical environment and illustrate  how it opens new spaces of interactivity and connections that transform the experience of being in the city. Marchessault, Darrouch and other contributors consider the pervasive media that has created these new ecologies within cities and question how to go about analyzing these new spaces.

The book builds upon the rich traditions and insights of a post-war generation of humanist scholars, media theorists, and urban planners. Authors engage with different historical and contemporary currents in urban studies which share a common concern for media forms, either as research tools or as the means for discerning the expressive nature of city spaces around the world.

Catographies of Place exemplifies the new direction in interdisciplinary media scholarship. Media considered within the text are not free floating, instead all are deeply embedded in the geopolitical, economic and material contexts in which they are used.

Marchessault is also the director of Sensorium, Centre for Digital Arts and Technology Research. In 2012, she received a Trudeau Award to support her research and curatorial practices in the area of new city spaces. She is also the author of McLuhan: Cosmic Media (2005) and co-edited Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema (2007); 3D Cinema and Beyond (2013); and Reimaging Cinema: The Films of Expo 67 (2014).

She is currently completing her next book, Ecstatic World: Media, Humanism, Ecology.