Exploring the City through Texts, Maps, and Networks
Bostonography is a new course designed to bridge study in Computer Science with studies in Social Sciences or the Humanities. It allows students to apply the computational methods they learn in Fundamentals of Computer Science toward major cultural, historical and societal questions related to the city of Boston.
Bostonography includes lectures, discussions, and labs in which students examine a variety of real (i.e., not canned) datasets that describe the geographic, historical, literary, political, civic, and institutional landscapes of the city. Students will combine analytical tools such as geospatial mapping, data visualization, and network science to better understand Boston’s history and its present. We also examine a range of cultural artifacts to better understand the city of Boston, its history and its contemporary situation. These include texts, such as novels, short stories, and memoirs describing the city and the experiences of its citizens at different moments in history. These assignments are paired with hands-on class activities and visits to landmarks and other important sites, helping students see the city through multiple perspectives and enabling a comprehensive view of complex cultural and social phenomena. Students demonstrate their knowledge of these cultural practices and creations through discussion and weekly writing, as well as a major project in which they explore a particular cultural-spatial facet of the city.
The schedule is subject to change; please keep up to date with the embedded version in the webpage.
Thanks to the Bostonography team for permission to use their fantastic name for the course.