Last Fall semester 2019, over 30 students of GEG 260 Urban Geography at the College of Staten Island (CSI) conducted fieldwork using spatial ethnography and co-produced a podcast series on the topic of “sense of place”. The fieldwork was designed as an introduction to ethnography as a methodology to understand the city. Each student was tasked to choose a specific place in their neighborhood and carry out participant observation, paying attention to the “sense of place” and “rules of place”, concepts they learned in the classroom. Each student then composed a one-page ethnographic entry, which they brought back to the classroom the following session.
Students then worked in teams during the Urban Lab, the session that follows the (off-site) fieldwork. After reviewing the ethnographic entries from students, I organized the students into teams based on similar or related type of places they chose for their fieldwork activity. Students were grouped into the following themes: Staten Island ferry, classrooms, parks, public spaces, malls, shops, and events. Each team of students then composed a one-page piece that draws from each of their ethnographic entries. Each team then recorded in class their written composition as a 3-5 minute podcast episode. You may listen to these episodes here.
This podcast is produced by the students of GEG 260 Urban Geography (Fall 2019) and GeospatialCSI at the CUNY College of Staten Island under the direction of Prof. Nerve V. Macaspac.
GeospatialCSI is an initiative at the College of Staten Island, which aims to re-imagine urban futures through Urban Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).