Making a Virtual Literary Map of Jerusalem

Computer Design, Geography

The idea for this proposal comes from two similar projects in Dublin and New York City. In Dublin, brass plaques with quotes from James Joyce’s Ulysses are embedded in the sidewalk at the appropriate places to mark Leopold Bloom’s legendary walk through the center of Dublin on June 16, 1904. The New York Times asked readers to assist in constructing a literary map of Manhattan. Nearly a hundred quotes were gathered from contributors, and a map was designed, which can be seen at here.

Jerusalem’s past as a religious site for pilgrims and as a locus of conflict (marked by the blue signs posted by the city which focus on the 1948 War of Independence) has long been noted. However, Jerusalem as a literary capital of modern Hebrew literature is often ignored. Yehuda Amichai, S.Y. Agnon, A.B. Yehoshua, Ariella Deem, Haim Beer, David Grossman, and many others have written about the places of Jerusalem. Yad Ben Zvi and Bet Agnon have done a marvelous job of promoting this literary past through their walking tours. However, these tours only attract small numbers of participants, and Jerusalem’s literary past has remained hidden to the vast majority of visitors and residents.

The goal would be to produce a bilingual virtual Literary Map of Jerusalem. Hebrew language skills are required. Much of the content for this project is already completed. The student partner for this project would design the virtual map itself. While this seems to be a largely technical matter, in fact there are a wide range of aesthetic and design decisions that need to be made. The project will be guided by the student partner's sense of aesthetics and ability to actualize a literary/geographic project in virtual space. This is an opportunity to create a virtual design—with all the creative thinking that entails—and to see it implemented in a project that is intended for a broad international audience.