Throughout graduate school I heard tales of the Denis Wood’s outrageous dissertation, curiously titled I Don’t Want To But I Will. Of particular interest are the scathing Acknowledgments, where Denis took his advisors to task. A worn copy of the Acknowledgments was passed among grad students as a bit of intellectual contraband.
But the content was what was most important. It’s a crazy dissertation. It’s about maps, mental maps, getting kicked off a bus, psychogeography, single element veridicality analysis, Europe, cartography, Kevin Lynch, passed-out subjects, Peter Gould, psychogeomorphology, the Shirelles, and the invention of “Environmental a” – a language for mapping. Among other things. It is driving the wrong way down the one-way-street of academia.
The dissertation was printed in a very limited number by the Clark University Cartographic Laboratory. Denis has recently made available a PDF of this never-really-in-print gem. I have reproduced Denis’ comments on the different chapters in the dissertation, along with links to the entire document and each chapter, from his web pages (here).
San Francisco Bay Area housing and transportation affordability map (Metropolitan Transportation Commission)
The Pennsylvania Turnpike: “The World’s Greatest Highway”
Detailed lithography map of North America at a resolution of 75 kilometres squared
Australia: It Really is a Big Country (Postcard)
Texas Designer’s Map of the World by DJ Stout - pentagram
This hand-colored geological sheet was issued by the Geological Survey of England and Wales, the first national geological survey organization. It portrays the geological structure in an area on the border of Westmoreland and Yorkshire in 1889.
Southeast Asia c. 1939