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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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Over-determining Space

Booth's color-coded key to poverty in London provides a distinctive example of the way maps were used to configure and manipulate public perception. As the characters in Bleak House move around London and the rest of England, transgressing social and domestic barriers through language, love, and even disease, walking and speech (both verbal and written) together assume the power to establish new alternative social, physical, and linguistic relations, in which new itinerant spheres of meaning emerge. Esther Summerson's narrative unfolds in a dialogical conversation with the novel's narrator, who appears in as disparate of places in the novel as the sitting room of a countess to the death-bed of London street sweeper. Ultimately this dialogism reveals the novel's linguistic attempt to transgress social, legal, and physical limitations.

Eventually, I'd like to consider how to visually conceive of this idea of walking as a form of poetry (and vice versa), and of maps perhaps, not as didactic mediums for determining social, economic, and political boundaries, but as spaces in which meridians (like Celan's) might be used as a means of gathering rather than marginalizing.  

Author: Emily Smith
Word Count: 184
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