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NEWS

There’s lots new in the Making Maps: Third Edition, just released from Guilford Press. Denis and John have thoroughly revised a book that now bears only passing resemblance to the first edition of eleven years ago: revised chapter structure, new examples, much more color, an expanded comic strip, but in even fewer pages! This is not just another boring old cartography textbook. It’s a book about making maps!
Denis took part in the recent symposium in Mainz, Germany, Media’s Mapping Impulse, June 16-18, sponsored by Media Geography at Mainz (of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz) and the University of Arizona, together with twenty-five others participants (including Tom Conley and Teresa Castro). Denis read “Mapping’s Complicated Media Impulse," which is here.
MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) has just released the hardbound edition of if its journal Humanities in which in 2015 Denis published his paper “Mapping Deeply.” Edited by Les Roberts and entitled Deep Mapping the volume collects the thirteen papers that made up the issue of the journal. Denis’ paper traces the history of the Boylan Heights mapping project that turned into his book, Everything Sings.
Denis participated in the “roundtable of experts” organized by Trevor Harris at the University of West Virginia, 23-24 May, to figure out what “deep mapping” really is. The participants, who included Nicholas Bauch, David Bodenhamer, John Corrigan, Rina Ghosh, Lincoln Mullen, Mia Ridge, and May Yuan, failed at their task, but spent their time profitably and pleasurably. Some sort of publication is sure to ensue.
Paul Voosen has just had his piece about the mapping controversy in Oaxaca published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (where he’s a senior reporter): "The Oaxaca Incident: a geographer’s efforts to map a Mexican village reveal the risks of military entanglement.” It covers the story from Peter Herlihy’s initial involvement in Tiltepec to the author’s recent visit. He also writes about Denis and Joe Bryan’s Weaponizing Maps.
A website run by a couple of Germans in Berlin, the idea list, has published a brief interview they recently conducted with Denis. In keeping with their theme of the month, it’s about the connection between maps and control.
The film about Denis, Unmappable, has just been posted on Vimeo! The twenty-two-and-a-half minute movie was made by Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma, and premiered last year at South by Southwest. Shown at more than thirty festivals (including Jena, Kosovo, and Guanajuato), the film also won numerous prizes. And now you can see it at home.
An interview with Denis was just published under the Life-Work tab at Inverse. Joe Carmichael asked a few more-interesting-than-usual questions and got the answers you might expect from Denis. Of course they’re all about maps …
Fed up with the simple-minded commentary he read about Star Wars in 1977, Denis wrote a piece for the Journal of Popular Film, then at Bowling Green University in Ohio. It came out in early 1978, one of the first serious pieces in what was soon to become a growth industry. Denis thought the film was great. Disturbed by the adulation that then greeted The Empire Strikes Back, Denis wrote a comparison of the two films, lamenting the sense of betrayal thatEmpire filled him with. Proposing a book on the topic to Oxford, Denis wrote a third piece, “The Times of the Stars,” that was never published (in the end Oxford declined to publish a book on so trivial a subject). All three pieces are here as well as in Papers under the Writing tab.
The map, “Signs for Strangers,” from Denis' Everything Sings, has been included in Map: Exploring the World, from Phaidon (2015). A collection of more than 300 maps from every age and the world over, each is given its individual full-page treatment. Here Denis’ map is on page 193 facing Guy Debord and Asger Jörn’s “The Naked City.” It’s a neat coupling.
In 1981 Denis, Vernon Shogren, and Paul Tesar, soon joined by Spencer Wolfe – all at the time members of the faculty of the School of Design at North Carolina State University – thought it was time for a biweekly pamphlet in which to articulate thoughts and opinions circulating through the school. As it turned out, it was too late to stop the movement backwards toward the 1950s sensibility the school would henceforth resolutely reassume. Denis had regularly been asked for copies of his piece, “Thoughts of a Dishes Washer,” and in the mid-1980s he put together this collection of his contributions. A recent request for the piece prompts this posting of “Denis Wood in Polemics.”
MOVA International has just posted a Q&A with Denis on its website. Among other things it includes a map Denis drew of Ideal Urb when he was in the fifth or sixth grade and a discussion of his first experience of cartography under George F. McCleary, then at Clark. There’s much more.
“Maps, Art, Power,” the paper Denis read in Rio de Janeiro in 2014, has been published in the 36th issue of the Brazilian journal Espaço e Cultura. Denis’ paper and Jörn Seemann’s are in English (despite its title), Carlos Lois (much better known as Carla Lois) and Veronica Hollman’s are in Spanish, and the balance are in Portuguese. Here’s a pdf of Denis’ paper, though without the 130 images with which it was accompanied in his oral presentation.
Denis’ brother, Peter, has just published a piece in the San Cristobal las Casas magazine, Jovel, laying out his thesis that Danish explorer and archaeologist Frans Blom was the real identity behind the author, B. Traven: “¿El tesoro de la Sierra Madre fue escrito en Nueva Orleans? B. Traven y ottos criollos famosos.” (We have a link to the full thesis further down this page.) While the piece runs pages 54-58, on this last page Peter reproduces this photo of himself (left), his brother Chris (right) and Denis (center) that was taken on a trip they took to the Lagos de Montebello, also in Chiapas, in 1963. Rumor has it that the magazine will be publishing an extract from the journal Denis kept that year in its next issue.
Denis’ paper, "Mapping Deeply,” has just been published in Humanities – a peer reviewed, online, open access journal – in a special issue devoted to deep mapping. Deep mapping is an aspect of the “spatial turn” the humanities have taken that rarely involves the making of actual maps. Denis’ neighborhood mapping project, published as Everything Sings, exemplifies a deep mapping project actually performed in mapping and maps. Download the pdf here.
Since taking first prize for documentary shorts in Victoria, Texas, unmappable has gone on to take the Young Grit Award at the Indie Grits Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at the Florida Film Festival. What a run Jasmine and Diane are having!! The image, from the film’s Facebook page, was made from a still from the film: Denis, at the time a teenager, filming himself in a mirror.
Denis’ new book, Weaponizing Maps, has just been published by Guilford Press. Co-authored with Joe Bryan, a geographer at the University of Colorado Boulder, Weaponizing Maps traces a genealogy from the founding of the American Geographical Society in 1851, "Red Mike" Edson’s patrols up Nicaragua’s Coco River in the 1920s, and the indigenous Nisa’a’s hundred-year fight to control their own land in British Columbia, to the twenty-first century mapping by the AGS and Peter Herlihy of land occupance in Oaxaca’s Sierra Juarez … for the US Army. “Bold and confrontational,” says Jeremy Crampton. “Bryan and Wood pull no punches in their indictment of the creeping militarization of geography … It’s quite possible that we’re seeing the next generation of critical thinking about mapping in this book.” To order through Amazon, click here. (The photo above shows the window of Boulder’s Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe.)
unmappable, the film about Denis, just won the prize for Best Documentary Short at the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival. Don’t Jasmine and Diane look happy?
Denis has contributed a piece to Cartographica’s commemoration of its publication, twenty-five years ago, of Brian Harley’s “Deconstructing the Map.” Denis and other contributors comment on the nature of Brian’s article, its impact, and the continuing reverberations. Denis’ contribution is here.
Propaganda Press has just published Denis' Everything Sings in Korean! It’s hardbound with a dust jacket and looks absolutely spectacular. If you scroll down through the Korean text, the site offers up eight pages of the atlas, all of which can be zoomed. Propaganda also publishes the magazine, Graphic, a recent issue of which is devoted to Maps and Sense.
Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma’s film about Denis, unmappable, has been selected for screening at SXSW in Austin next month. It’ll be shown on the 14th and 16th (with Denis in the audience!). This brings with it a new poster and the film’s own website (where the photo’s from). Make sure you check out the film’s Twitter site too. The film has also been selected for screening in April at the Florida Film Festival.
Denis read “Maps, Art, Power” on October 30 at the IX Simpósio Internacional sobre Espaço e Cultura, held at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Carla Lois, of Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council, also presented at thissession on cartographic representations of culture. Denis’ paper largely recapitulated the content of the seventh chapter of Rethinking the Power of Maps, with a few internal modifications and new opening and closing paragraphs. Here’s Denis with Veronica Hollman, from Buenos Aires, and their host in Rio, André Reyes Novaes.

Unmappable wins prize! at the New Orleans Film Festival, taking home a Gator for the Programmer's Artistic Award. Congratulations Diane, Jasmine!!!
The remarks Denis made last spring about Joel Wainwright’s Geopiracy: Oaxaca, Militant Empiricism, and Geographical Thought have just been published in Human Geography. Denis’ comments are here. The whole session, including Joel’s responses, is here.
The tease trailer for Unmappable has been released. The “blue sky” makes reference to a poem Denis composed. See more at the film’s Facebook page and at its Twitter site. Wired magazine has an interview with the filmmakers.
New Orleans Film Festival poster for Unmappable released! The poster frames the silhouette of Denis’ head stuffed with map images from Everything Sings.
Unmappable, the film Diane Hudson and Jasmine Luoma have made about Denis, is an Official Selection at the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival, October 16-23. This will be the film’s world premier. The festival’s synopsis reads: "Weaving together the life and work of psychogeographer and convicted sex offender Denis Wood, this meditative portrait unveils the inner workings of a man who unapologetically pushes boundaries both personally and professionally.” They do all this in 22 minutes.
Denis’ review of Painting a Map of Sixteenth-Century Mexico City: Land, Writing, and Native Rule has just been published in the latest issue of Cartographica. More than a monograph about an intriguing old graphic, this is a book about what it is that makes a map a map.
The second, "The Commemorative Edition,” of Arthur Krim’s Route 66: Iconography of the American Highway, which Denis edited, has just been released by George F. Thompson books. Revised and updated, Route 66 has been enriched with additional photographs by Steve Fitch, Jim Farber, and others; and a new preface by Krim. The publication coincides with the Route 66 exhibition currently on view at the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles.
Fleeting Glimpses is the name Denis gave the thesis he wrote for his master’s degree at Clark University. It’s an analysis of images of San Cristobal las Casas, in Chiapas, Mexico, held by students at the local secondary school. It set out to amend, or amplify, the approach Kevin Lynch had developed for the study of urban images in Image of the City but, more importantly, to get down Denis’ strong feelings for the place. The Clark University Cartographic Laboratory sold 200 copies of this predecessor to I Don’t Want To, But I Will. (It’s also posted on the Monographs page under the Writing tab.)
Denis helped celebrate the opening of Route 66 at the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles June 6, 2014. Subtitled The Road and the Romance, and on view through January 4, 2015, the exhibition leans heavily on Arthur Krim’s Route 66: Iconography of the American Highway which Denis edited (a “Commemorative Edition” of the book is due out later this summer from George F. Thompson books). The show includes the original typewritten scroll of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Woody Guthrie’s Martin guitar, the oldest existing Route 66 shield, and endless other artifacts related to the road. On June 22, Arthur Krim will participate in a seminar, Beginning the Road.
Jen Jack Gieseking and William Mangold, with Cindi Katz and others, have edited The People, Place, and Space Reader (Routledge, New York, 2014). The volume includes several pages from Denis and Robert Beck’s book, Home Rules (pp. 173-175), together with the plan of the living room that filled the endpapers of the book (p. 146).
Denis’ "Katy?”, an essay linking eighteen articles on cartography and narrative and appearing simultaneously in The Cartographic Journal and in New American Notes Online (NANO), has just been published by The Cartographic Journal (pp. 179-186). The version on NANO is forthcoming (its call for submissions is here: scroll down to Issue 6). The essay concludes: "The map contains all these events, all this passed time, sucks it up, inhales it … to comprise the narrative display that it is. And every map does this. Nice of the authors of these papers to to draw our attention, in all their various ways, to this fact!” (to read the essay, click here).
Denis' review of  Benedikt Groß and Joseph K. Lee's THE BIG ATLAS OF LA POOLS has just been published in the latest issue of Cartographica. The full atlas, documenting 43,123 Los Angeles pools, runs to 74 volumes, of which only a single hard copy exists; but the introductory volume, which is the real subject of Denis’ review, is available. It’s a hell of a book!
Denis participated in a panel on Joel Wainwright’s new book, Geopiracy: Oaxaca, Militant Empiricism, and Geographical Thought, at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, April 10, 2014, in Tampa. It was truly a first-rate panel organized by Johnny Finn for Human Geography, which will be publishing the remarks late this year. Denis' remarks are here.
Berkeley’s just announced the availability of the videos from its Mapping and Its Discontents Symposium at which Denis gave the framing lecture last November. The video of Denis is at the top of the page, where his talk starts about nine minutes in. You can watch the rest of the presenters, along with the concluding panel discussion further down the page.

The Rumpus has just posted a a long, rich review of Denis’ Everything Sings by Mieke Eerkens. She draws attention to the Modernist impulses behind the atlas. Eerkens teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa.

Denis’ paper, “A Place Off the Map: The Case for a Non-Map-based Place Title,” has just been published in Nomadic and Indigenous Spaces: Productions and Cognitions, expertly edited by Judith Miggelbrink, Joachim Otto Habeck, Nuccio Mazzullo, and Peter Koch (Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey, 2013). The volume is actually worth its insane price, but the original draft of Denis’ paper is here.
In Search of Shadowed Spaces in Newcastle!! Michael writes: "In 2011, I wrote this article on urban exploration for a magazine who ultimately didn’t end up using it. I recently found it lying about on my hard-drive, polished it up a little and now here it is … preserved in the shoe-box, which I guess is my own little shadowed space.” Michael is writing about Arika’s Shadowed Spaces Tour, in Scotland, on which Denis lectured. This was the tour’s sole appearance in England. The photo is of Denis speaking under the unfinished bridge that Michael refers to toward the end of his piece.
Visual Editions has just published its latest incredible book, Where You Are. It's a box in which sixteen artists, writers, and thinkers explore the idea of the map in individually bound little books. Denis' expands on the piece he wrote about his paper routes for Pocket Guide – see below – with additional contributions– and maps! – from two fellow Plain Dealer carriers, Mouse (Mark Salling) and John Bellamy. For a peek, click here.
At Mapping and Its Discontents, a sold-out symposium held at Berkeley, November 1, 2013, Denis gave the opening, “framing” lecture on the history of mapmaking. Kicking off a 3.5 year, multi-university initiative sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, the symposium also heard Robin Grossinger, Laura Kurgan, Annette Kim, Katherine Harmon, Rebecca Solnit, and others talk about maps and mapping. It was accompanied by an interesting exhibition of student-made maps.
Dan Brownstein muses on Mapping and its Discontents.
Filmmakers Jasmine Luoma and Diane Hudson have been shooting a documentary about Denis scheduled for release in 2015. The untitled film has a Facebook page, Denis Wood Documentary, loaded with cool stuff, including shots of playing cards Denis made while working at Republic Steel in 1960s. And much else.

Denis presented “The Map's Power,” at Deutscher Geographentag 2013, in Passau, October 4, 2013.
The paper, tracing the history of his 1992 exhibition and book, The Power of Maps, is available here in longer and shorter versions. Mark Monmonier then presented "'Critical turn' or 'progressive turn'?"

A Notable Design Book of 2013! Designers & Books has listed Everything Sings as one of the Notable Design Books of 2013. Reviewer Allison Arieff says, "The narratives accompanying Wood’s maps tell a much deeper story of this North Carolina neighborhood than any 'normal' map ever could." She's an editor at SPUR, the former editor-in-chief for Dwell Magazine, writes for the New York Times, Atlantic Cities, and so on.
50th High School Reunion! Denis wrote a piece about one of his classmates, Dr. Norman Gordon, for his page in the class' "memory book." They went to school at Cleveland Heights High School, 1960-1963. Coincidentally, Norman is also the subject of his son, Austin Ratner's new novel, In the Land of the Living. Norman went on to Harvard and then medical school at Case-Western Reserve. He was poised to become a significant cancer researcher when he died of cancer at the age of 29.
More posts! Andrew Sullivan Dishes Everything Sings with the Detroit Geographical Expedition's map of where commuters used to kill black kids on the Pointes-to-downtown track. It's all beneath the headline, The Power of Maps. Good post!
Blog posts! The first, on Guernica/a magazine of arts and politics is about the second edition of Everything Sings, posting a bunch of images and an excerpt from Blake Butler's interview of Denis. The second, on geographical imaginations/war, space and security, finds Derek Gregory blogging about Bill Bunge, Everything Sings, and Denis and Joe Bryan's forthcoming book, Weaponizing Maps. Catch them while they're hot!

LOS ANGELES BOOK LAUNCH FOR THE SECOND EDITION OF EVERYTHING SINGS: THIS PAST APRIL AT THE LAST BOOKSTORE: DENIS WOOD IN CONVERSATION WITH THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK CRITIC DAVID ULIN. This evening of wide-ranging conversation between two writers with equally critical and imaginative faculties dug into Denis' process and influences as well the myriad connections his mapmaking draws between seemingly disparate things. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring Street (near 5th Street), downtown Los Angeles. Ph: 213-488-0599.

See Excerpts Here.

Atlas Studio!! Denis spent the last week in February at the École de design of the Université du Québec à Montréal working with 27 graphic design, environmental design, and geography students on an atlas of Montréal: Subjectivité Géographique / Geographical Subjectivity. As it says at the end of the atlas, this was “a collective work of the DES32AT-080: Space Information Design intensive workshop students, supervised by Denis Wood and Alessandro Colizzi.” It was a lot of fun. Great students!!
Photo credit: Alessandro Colizzi
New publication! Denis' “Picturing Dogma: Kids Drawing the Earth,” the paper he presented in São Paulo in 2011, has just been published as "Dogma Visualizado: Estado-nação, Terra, Rios," the first chapter in Valéria Cazetta and Wenceslao M. de Oliveira, eds., Grafias do Espaco: Imagens da Educacåo Geográfica Contemporânea (Editora Alínea, Campinas (Brazil), 2013). The English version is here.
SECOND EDITION of Everything Sings, now available!! An expanded and revised second edition of Denis' Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas has just been published by siglio. It has ten new maps, two original essays, by Albert Mobilio and Ander Monson, and an interview with Denis by Blake Butler. Wrapped in a violet dust jacket, the book is bound in abrilliant yellow with grass green endpapers. It contains every bit of the first edition. Distributed by Artbook/D.A.P., it's for sale at siglio, Amazon, and elsewhere. Among the new maps are Dogs, Barking Dogs, Flowering Trees, Roof Lines, Stories, Families, Numbers, Footprints, and Nesting. The story of Boylan Heights grows more and more interesting!

Frans Blom in 1922.

Denis’s brother, Peter Wood, has finally figured out who B. Traven actually was. Peter has identified the Danish explorer and archaeologist Frans Blom, as the author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Death Ship, Rebellion of the Hanged and other Traven classics. Read the fascinating account of how and why Blom hid his authorship here.


Supposed portrait of B. Traven, actually Traven Torsvan, 1926.
The Junk School: An Evaluation of the First Year of the Worcester-Clark TTT Adjunct Program at North High School, Worcester, Massachusetts. Denis wrote this unpublished report in 1973 when he was with the old North High School in Worcester, Massachusetts as a Research Fellow-Teacher-Evaluator, supported by Clark University's Teaching Teacher Trainers Program and the University of Virginia's Evaluation Research Center. The Adjunct School was a radical attempt at reforming American high schools from within. It described itself as a change agent and assumed that knowledge was a process, that schools were learning communities, and that growth was really all that mattered in an education. The report proper is 204 pages and it's followed by another couple hundred pages of documentary material including weekly logs. The Adjunct School was … something else!
José Luis Romanillos reviews Rethinking the Power of Maps in the most recent issue of the Royal Dutch Geographical Society's Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie. It's pretty thorough. Check it out.
Korean! Denis and John Krygier's cartography text, Making Maps, has just been published in Korean by Sigma Press. They did a beautiful job! Visit them atwww.sigmapress.co.kr
Journal of Landscape Architecture (India) is doing a special issue around maps and Denis has written a little introduction for it called "About Maps."  Access the journal through its website at http://www.lajournal.in/default.htm.

Denis reads "1,001 Regional Nights" in Leipzig, at the Public Colloquium of the Center for Area Studies of the University of Leipzig, December 12, 2012. His concern here is to dismiss as a phantom the idea of coherent geographical regions, replacing them with a study of regions determined by tossing embroidery hoops onto maps.

Blog post! Northern Michigan University has just posted Denis' article, "The Cartographic Mode of Production" on its Passages Northblog. In this Denis applies Jonathan Beller's "attention theory of value" to the way location is turned into capital by maps, especially mobile map platforms like foursquare. Check it out. Then read Beller's terrific book.

Pocket Guide has published Denis' "Thinking about my paper routes," along with this map he doodled of them in 1976 while listening to a lecture. An expanded version of this with the counter-memories of others and their maps will come out in 2013 from London's Visual Editions.
Denis reviews R. Brook and N. Dunn's unfathomably dull Urban Maps: Instruments of Narrative and Interpretation in the City. The review's in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 39(3), 2012, p. 606.

Denis' article, "The Anthropology of Cartography" has just been published in Les Roberts' collection Mapping Cultures: Place, Practice, Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (Hampshire), 2012), pp. 280-303. Les is in the School of the Arts at the University of Liverpool so this is not your usual cartography anthology but lots more interesting.

Veronica Hollman reviews Everything Sings for Estudios Socioterritoriales: Revista de Geografía No. 11 (Buenos Aires, enero-junio 2012), pp. 127-133.
MetaFilter loves Denis' dissertation.
Invisible Cities on BBC’s Between the Ears! Denis joins Bradley Garrett, Anna Minton, Rebecca Solnit, and PD Smith in a tribute – a sound collage – to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities on the 40th anniversary of its publication. Produced by Eleanor McDowall and first broadcast on BBC 3’s Between the Ears, June 3, 2012. It was rebroadcast August 31, 2014, on the Australian program, Soundproof.
Car thieves stole our manuscript!! An early – and only – copy of this manuscript, A Cognitive Atlas: Explorations into the Psychological Geography of Four Mexican Cities, was locked in the trunk of David Stea’s car to make sure thieves intent on cameras and the like didn’t inadvertently steal it while we were eating. What they stole was the whole car! The atlas is mostly David’s. He’d completed his work on Mexico City, Puebla, and Guanajuato before arriving at Clark University in the fall of 1967 to teach psychogeography. Denis enrolled in the two semester course and in the spring did the work reported here on San Cristobal las Casas. David folded this into his developing manuscript – the one that was stolen – and following further difficulties he and Denis decided to … just get it out. Hence this 1971 report. (Denis returned to San Cristobal in the summer of 1969 and did the further work reported in his master thesis, Fleeting Glimpses, soon to be posted here.)
Review: Denis' review of Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader has just been published in Cartographica.
Dissertation Online!!! Denis' notorious I Don't Want To But I Will is now available here (or find it on the Monographs page under the Writing tab) as a machine-searchable PDF. Submitted in 1973 as published by the Clark University Cartographic Laboratory in an edition of 200 (long, long sold out) it is reproduced here in its original, extremely hard-to-find form. It's about psychogeography! It's about mental maps!! It's about a summer in Europe!!!

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© Denis Wood 2010 - 2015