Born out of an idea to further engage our students with the city in which they live, and to encourage students to think critically about the ways in which they understand and interpret the built environment—two courses at two schools came to together to collaborate in an extended online project titled “Visual Landscapes.”  Livi Yoshioka-Maxwell, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (Pomona College) and Kathryn Robinson, Instructor in the Department of Geosciences and Environment (Cal State LA) collaborated on curricula for their respective classes: 1. Metro Tales – A course designed to understand how the Parisian metro has become a symbolic and literal zone of regulating and policing French national identity, and to examine how this local transportation system and its commuters, and their experience of the metro as a site of quotidian trajectories, relates to the voyages of travelers coming from outside of France and 2. The UrbanWorld – A course designed to understand the history and systems through which cities grow and function. The Urban World is designed to relate the students’ lived experience with the urban landscape of their city, Los Angeles.

Using the book assigned for The Urban World—A People’s Guide to Los Angeles, by Laura Barraclough, Wendy Chang, and Laura Pulido—pairs of students from both classes have been charged with visiting one site from the “Guide” using a form of public transportation. This website is a collection of their photo essay documentation and subsequent dialogue comparing the student’s experiences and observations at their shared site. Yoshioka-Maxwell’s students will develop a final paper and Robinson’s students will develop a final presentation in which they will expands upon the outcome of the collaboration.
Special thank you to The Draper Center for their support of this collaboration.