Why do certain portrayals of American spaces promote equality or inequality? How does the American geographical imagination reproduce and limit the power of its citizens? How are gender, sexuality, race, disability, and class inscribed in spaces, and how can these inscriptions be used for liberation? Students will examine the relationships between culture and space at all scales, and consider the roles that individuals, groups, and social structures play in creating the environments in which people live, work, and play, for better or for worse. Students will explore spaces such as Walt Disney World’s Main Street, landscapes, gay bars, villages, adobes, ghettos, the Colonies, neighborhood, skyscrapers, lesbian land, and wilderness. This course brings together the writings of scholars, designers, and activists from a variety of fields to make sense of the makings and meanings of the environments we inhabit.

Memory, Place, and Power is taught in American Studies at Trinity College by Professor Jen Jack Gieseking.