Antique Maps

Devin Symons was our designer for 2014-2015, and you can see his work in the posters for the Geographies series, in our cards and banners, and many of the images on this site. His inspiration for this design came from antique maps, and the way maps express time and emotion. His bold use of color brings an antique map from Vienna or London to the contemporary world.

Devin completed his MFA at American University in 2015. He has a very interesting habit: when he goes to a reading he often makes a sketch of the writer as he or she reads, and then gives the drawing to them. The images are beautiful and so expressive, simple gifts that capture the moment.

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Working Group Applications are here!

The Humanities Lab working groups provide faculty, students and  members of the American University community with an opportunity to meet each other and share work on common topics. You can apply to coordinate or start a new working group at any time. You can find the application of this website as a Word document or a PDF, or you can fill in the online form at the AU website.

Download the application:


Apply online:



The hidden beauty of internet infrastructure

One of the things I loved about Laura DeNardis’ talk “Where is the Internet?” was her brief analysis of the spaces that make the internet work. These are spaces that are designed to remain hidden or invisible, and one could therefore think that their design might not matter, or might not have an aesthetic dimension–but it does. She showed an image of a Google cooling plant for a data center in Douglas County, Georgia, and the audience was able to identify that this was a Google-related space just from the colors. Thinking about and discovering these spaces, the true engines of our internet revolution is fascinating. From the outside they are as impersonal and mundane as mass-produced office buildings, and yet they facilitate all the creativity and conflict and energy of the web as a global presence.

This was a thought provoking lecture that concluded with important questions about internet freedom and governance.  And it was also great to have just the right person that could answer all our questions, including whether sharks chew on the submarine fiberoptic cables that carry broadband traffic from one side of the ocean to another… —– Despina Kakoudaki

You can find out more about Professor DeNardis’ research on her website.
Make sure you check out her new book, The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press, 2014).
And here are some pictures from the event: