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Mid-term PhD seminar Moniek Driesse : Mapping the city in time and space – with water, that runs through it all

Culture and languages

Higher seminar. Mid-term PhD seminar Moniek Driesse. All are welcome!

8 Oct 2020
10:00 - 12:00

Discussant: Christine Hansen, Dept. of Historical Studies, GU, and Manager of Knowledge and Content at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Tasmania) 

You are all invited to Moniek Driesse’s midterm PhD seminar. In this seminar Moniek will present the current status of her research project and get into dialogue with external discussant Christine Hansen. 
The research project aims to assert the importance of urban waters in knowledge production and contribute to building up an approach to urban heritage using mapping as an optic and water as its lens. In that sense, heritage becomes a perspective on change in time and space that can be used as a tool to imagine alternative urban realities in the past, present and future. 
Moniek’s project emerges from letting water attract her attention. Not any particular body or type of water, but water as an entity that has drawn and continues to draw maps of cities. Not maps as in the pieces of paper with dots and lines drawn on them, but maps understood as phenomena that guide human understanding of orientations in time and space. Mapping, then, involves a set of actions through which a researcher can gather, present and articulate imagined understandings of place in varying temporalities, perceived and practised relations of dwelling with many others in ever-changing urban ecosystems. In her work in Mexico City, Belgrade and Gothenburg – cities that are different in many aspects, but where water plays a significant role in the cartographical narrative – Moniek allows water to become an active agent in the mapping process. By doing this, the focus moves from the map as an object to mapping as a performative and, thus, cultural, social and political activity. In that sense, in this research, cartography is understood as an act of becoming rather than a fixed ontology.  

A preliminary manuscript with an overview of the structure and inherent logics of the still ongoing research is available for those who want to read or just have a look at it before the seminar. Please send an email to to get your copy!