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Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors

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Mobilizing the Victorian Maternal Body: Geospatial Pedagogy

The process of the digital project highlights how and to what extent these forces might construct an individual pregnant subject in geographical terms. Additionally, the mapping process raises questions about modelling, research use, and interpretation that will enrich my Master's project. Most importantly, the project affords me the opportunity to develop my academic work in a pedagogically accessible way that I can build on beyond my MA program. I would like the map to serve as a tool by which I and others can identify and analyze patterns of cultural formation as they emerge from developing and reading visualizations of geospatial mobility. In the present work, I am not sure what patterns (if any) will emerge from articulating historical texts onto a geographical map, but I suspect that it is through the building process that the most learning happens. I hope this would be the case not only for the map's initial development, but for other scholars who might read and add to the project in the future (e.g., Victorian scholars from various disciplines and academic levels).

Interdisciplinary Victorian studies require grappling with a wealth of archived materials; for Victorian scholars and teachers, DH is a promising pedagogical avenue. Digital mapping offers access points for visual and spatial learners not available through words on a page; more importantly, it allows one to organize diverse layers of information into visualizations that uniquely reveal semantic links and broader cultural patterns. Few geo-Victorian projects are live as yet, and most of those published to the web merely scratch the surface of interdisciplinary data collection and visualization (see, for example, Lee Jackson's Map of Victorian London). The sophisticated London Low Life maps comprise the most current geospatial Victorian research, including a broad range of data spanning the Victorian period; however, I find little mapping work performed for more specific bodies of Victorian scholarship. Given my focus on the geography of pregnancy, my work enters what seems to be an fairly open field. Nonetheless, the use of digital mapping in Victorian research will only increase. The London Low Life project's model articulates, among other things, a point that Victorian scholars are already well aware of: that materiality and particularity of place were essential to late nineteenth-century British life.

Author: Alison Hedley
Word Count: 373
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