Skip to content


Project Zines

Resources developed by Kristi Riley

Public scholarship makes academic theory and research accessible to broader audiences in order to produce transformative change. These zines provide curated resources to help others start their own public humanities project:

NEW! The Countermapping the Humanities Lesson Plan

Resources developed by Kristi Riley

In an effort to support public humanities discourse and education, Countermapping the Humanities is releasing a suite of resources for instructors to customize and add to their syllabi for the Spring 2022 semester (and beyond!).

Countermapping CUNY

The Public Humanities Map

The Public Humanities Map, created for the Center for the Humanities by Aurash Khawarzad (Earth and Environmental Sciences, CUNY Graduate Center), is an attempt to frame the geographic scope and social connectivity of research projects being carried out by faculty in the Andrew W. Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. Humanities programs at CUNY have been at the forefront of developing community-based participatory action research projects in the humanities that use creative practice, quantitative documentation, and everything in between – this map is an early attempt to document those various initiatives and facilitate analysis of how they relate to each other.  As a whole, the map shows the wide range of people, neighborhoods, areas of research, and other factors that go into humanities studies. It reveals the centrality of doing “place-based” work, including building relationships with community members/organizations, in the process of better understanding complex political, environmental, economic, and related systems. 

As its underlying map of New York City, the Public Humanities Map takes inspiration from the Dymaxion map projection, created by Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao in 1954. The map projection shows the surface of the Earth as a connected series of land masses within one ocean. It is recognized for having little distortion of continents, unlike the often used Mercator projection. As a map of New York the dymaxion projection represents the City as its own world, with connected boroughs but without one center. Decentralizing New York, as opposed to a Manhattancentric map, the dymaxion projection is an appropriate canvas for a city where communities on the fringes have disproportionate power in society but play a very important role in its culture, economy, and much much more. 

For more information on Aurash’s work, visit

The CUNY Basemap

Maps inspire new ways of knowing “place,” and spark novel approaches to scholarly inquiry, practice, and relationship-building. Aurash has designed a base map for public humanities scholars who wish to use cartography as a means to better understand the myriad impacts of engaged practice in public space. 

The CUNY Basemap is an attempt at creating a tool for researching the humanities and/or sciences issues related to the university and its environs. The map highlights basic fundamental features of the five boroughs, including the location of each of the 25 CUNY campuses, but mainly provides room for original research conducted by CUNY faculty and students. For researchers the blank map can be used as a repository for robust datasets, or it can be a survey tool conducted by an individual “on-site”. As the map is used by various researchers at the university, it forms a compendium of spatial and social knowledge about CUNY and broader New York City. 

For more information on Aurash’s work, visit