Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mapping machines: Activist cartographies of the border and labor lands of Europe
by Cobarrubias, Sebastian, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009, 349; 3366473
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores how cartographic and geographic methods are being utilized as tools by social movements for new ends. In particular, I focus on social movements based in Spain that are developing cartographies of the conflicting territories of the European Union and its construction. The activist mapping projects engaged in this dissertation are understood as a form of ‘other’ cartography: a form of social movement-based knowledge deploying the traditional research tool of cartography to new ends. Cartography, often labeled an instrument of fixation to facilitate appropriation of territory by established power structures, becomes a counter tool for anti-systemic movements. My work examines how social movements employ spatial and cartographic knowledges in order to analyze and transform existing spaces and prefigure alternative ones. This basic tenet of the thesis splits into two types of argument: conceptual and empirical. Conceptually, I answer why these activist cartographies matter, socially and intellectually, and how they fit into a broader historical moment. The empirical argument follows by examining the procedures and venues used by mapping movements and how activist cartography is developing in Spain and Europe.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pickles, John
Commitee: Cravey, Altha J., Escobar, Arturo, Grossberg, Lawrence, Wolford, Wendy
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Political science, Social structure
Keywords: Cartography, Europe, Immigration, Labor flexibilization, Political economy, Social movements
Publication Number: 3366473
ISBN: 978-1-109-27758-6
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