purple square, return  ephemeral_space:

once we were here, then "here" moved

Where am I? The Sonoran Desert feels like the bottom of the ocean, leached dry and abrasively personal, like an exposed bone piercing skin. We survive the heat, we pray for monsoon rainbows, and we inhale creosote. Dust sometimes sticks to my lips as I ride my bike home, the mountains on fire in front of me. You will not find this in my thirdspace maps.

purple square, section 2
Where am I? My days are filled with offices. Professors, administrators, directors, graduate assistants, program assistants. On this campus, some have fluorescently lit spaces in which to work, and some do not. You will not find this in my thirdspace maps.

purple square, section 3
Where am I? Zora is growing heavier by the second, and she squirms in my arms. There never seems to be a changing table nearby when I need one — something I didn't notice before my daughter's birth. Now, I note their absence and presence, always trying to imagine who is convenienced and who is inconvenienced. And if she grows hungry, the university becomes an entirely different place. I am most often quick to expose my breasts without care on public transportation, in restaurants, in parking lots, on sidewalks, but the thought of familiar student and professor faces makes the university seem a place where I am naked with nowhere to hide. You will not find this in my thirdspace maps.

purple square, section 4
Where am I?

thirdspacing the university: performing spatial and visual literacies hello/goodbye: project introduction/conclusion bringing svr to fyc: video responses and experiences orientation: svr, theory, and invention thirdspace: mapping svr at the university of arizona references: all text sources used in my project
Return bar menu Home Crump and Verzosa Fodrey Archer Haley-Brown Holmes Juarez Martin Vinson

mapping SVR at the university of arizona

The figure below is a representation of the University of Arizona as a space — a place that comes into being through performance, through our ability to move around and witness. When we think about the university as a visual space, we might ask ourselves: How is literacy a performance that shapes the way we perceive the university? How does our visual and spatial experience in this space affect our understanding of the university's purpose? We can begin to explore these questions by engaging with the university and noticing our interpretations of spatial and visual communications.

The map that I present here is a catalogue/narrative of my experience walking around the university. As I walked, I used a camera to record images and spaces that caught my attention. I then attempted to "order" my experience by creating spatial/visual categories (the items listed below). The fun of all this categorizing, however, comes when we try to complicate the categories. How do the borders between categories begin to shift and change when they bump up against one another? What does all of this shifting say about the nature of the university as a space, as a performance?

I invite you to explore the maps and the possibilities that these categories hold for teaching composition. How might these categories help students analyze their visual and spatial experiences at the university? Might these categories be expanded, contracted, or otherwise transgressed to generate critical thinking about the way we experience the world?


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