Johanna Drucker: Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (2014)

25 May 2016, dusan

“In our current screen-saturated culture, we take in more information through visual means than at any point in history. The computers and smart phones that constantly flood us with images do more than simply convey information. They structure our relationship to information through graphical formats. Learning to interpret how visual forms not only present but produce knowledge, says Johanna Drucker, has become an essential contemporary skill.

Graphesis provides a descriptive critical language for the analysis of graphical knowledge. In an interdisciplinary study fusing digital humanities with media studies and graphic design history, Drucker outlines the principles by which visual formats organize meaningful content. Among the most significant of these formats is the graphical user interface (GUI)—the dominant feature of the screens of nearly all consumer electronic devices. Because so much of our personal and professional lives is mediated through visual interfaces, it is important to start thinking critically about how they shape knowledge, our behavior, and even our identity.

Information graphics bear tell-tale signs of the disciplines in which they originated: statistics, business, and the empirical sciences. Drucker makes the case for studying visuality from a humanistic perspective, exploring how graphic languages can serve fields where qualitative judgments take priority over quantitative statements of fact. Graphesis offers a new epistemology of the ways we process information, embracing the full potential of visual forms and formats of knowledge production.”

Publisher Harvard University Press, 2014
metaLABprojects series
ISBN 0674724933, 9780674724938
215 pages

Reviews: Scott McLemee (Inside Higher Ed 2014), Maggie Sattler (Zeteo 2014), Cory Taylor (2014), Johannah Rodgers (Brooklyn Rail 2015).


PDF, PDF (17 MB, updated on 2016-8-15)

See also Drucker’s 2010 Graphesis article.

Trevor Pinch, Karin Bijsterveld (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (2011)

18 July 2014, dusan

“Written by the leading scholars and researchers in the emerging field of sound studies, The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies offers new and fully engaging perspectives on the significance of sound in its material and cultural forms. The book considers sounds and music as experienced in such diverse settings as shop floors, laboratories, clinics, design studios, homes, and clubs, across an impressively broad range of historical periods and national and cultural contexts.

Science has traditionally been understood as a visual matter, a study which has historically been undertaken with optical technologies such as slides, graphs, and telescopes. This book questions that notion powerfully by showing how listening has contributed to scientific practice. Sounds have always been a part of human experience, shaping and transforming the world in which we live in ways that often go unnoticed. Sounds and music, the authors argue, are embedded in the fabric of everyday life, art, commerce, and politics in ways which impact our perception of the world. Through an extraordinarily diverse set of case studies, authors illustrate how sounds — from the sounds of industrialization, to the sounds of automobiles, to sounds in underwater music and hip-hop, to the sounds of nanotechnology — give rise to new forms listening practices. In addition, the book discusses the rise of new public problems such as noise pollution, hearing loss, and the “end” of the amateur musician that stem from the spread and appropriation of new sound- and music-related technologies, analog and digital, in many domains of life.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2011
ISBN 0199995818, 9780195388947
624 pages

Reviews: John F. Barber (Leonardo, 2012), Bruce Johnson (Popular Music, 2013), William Cheng (Journal of the American Musicological Society, 2014).

Companion website

PDF, PDF (56 MB)

J. B. Harley, David Woodward (eds.): The History of Cartography (1987–)

22 April 2014, dusan

The monumental History of Cartography is an unprecedented survey of the development of cartography both as a science and an art. This essential reference presents the enormous value of maps to societies worldwide and explores the many ways they have been used to depict the earth, sky, and cosmos from ancient times to the present. The series is both a work of reference (comprehensive in coverage and rich in bibliographies, illustrations and other reader aids) and of scholarly interpretation (authoritative, factually up-to-date, revisionist and espousing deliberately broad terms of reference).

Volume 1 (1987): Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean.
Volume 2, Book 1 (1992): Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies.
Volume 2, Book 2 (1994): Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies.
Volume 2, Book 3 (1998): Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies.
Volume 3 (2007): Cartography in the European Renaissance [In two books].
Volume 4 (forthcoming, edited by Matthew Edney and Mary S. Pedley): Cartography in the European Enlightenment.
Volume 5 (forthcoming, edited by Roger Kain): Cartography in the Nineteenth Century.
Volume 6 (forthcoming, edited by Mark Monmonier): Cartography in the Twentieth Century.

Publisher University of Chicago Press, 1987-
Open Access
c5000 pages

The History of Cartography Project

Download Volumes 1-3 (PDF chapters, from the publisher)