If we are to take Daniel Kemmis seriously in his claim that if humanities and culture are nbot just words or academic constructs, then "their meaning had to be sought in and brought to bear on the real life of the real city" (The Good City and the Good Life. New York and Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995), P. 59, then we need to think about philosophy in the city. The best way I have found to do that is to construct philosophical walking tours for my students that encourage them both to see the city differently in light of the philosophical essays they have read as well as to test what philosophers claim in their experience of the city.
Below you will find 2 podcasts of walking tours that I designed for Scranton, Pennsylvania. Students are able to download the podcasts or borrow an mp-3 player so that they can take walking tours on their own.
In addition, I have included links to various types of virtual city tours that are also fun to take.
Invincible Cities:A Visual Encyclopedia of the American Ghetto.Photographs of Harlem, NY, Camden, NJ, and Richmond, VA.The early stage of a planned interactive web site with incredible photos by Camilo JoséVergara that helps us understand the transformation of urban neighborhoods over time.Gives us a virtual walking tour across time as well as space.
urban sound walks:"Berlin-based sound artist Christina Kubisch began an ongoing project called 'Electrical Walks.'"These are audio maps of the electromagnetics in the city.There are 30 sound samplings available. For this project, Kubisch has employed "specially built headphones that receive electromagnetic signals from the environment," transforming those signals "into sound." In the process, "Kubisch maps a given territory, noting 'hot spots' (ATM machines, security systems, electronic cash registers, subway systems, etc.) where the signals are particularly strong or interesting." In other words, she performs a kind of audial psychogeography, zones of the city turned into MP3s, "very beautiful, very dense sounds... like a movie, an audio movie."http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2006/06/urban-sound-walks.html.
Sound Sculptures. This website contains sound recordings of both rural and urban spaces created by artist Bill Fontana in 1981.