ASSIGNMENT: Mapping Atlanta Project

Digitizing Atlanta


Your second assignment will be to use Google Maps to create a digital map of our two historical novels: Thomas Mullen’s Darktown and Tayari Jones’s Leaving Atlanta. After you make these maps, which you will embed with materials related to both the novels and (so-called) real histories, you will write an argument that makes a claim about the relationship between the map and the texts. You might build from one of your QHQs about the texts, and you could also consider some or all of the following questions:

  • • What does your map reveal about the ways in which Atlanta has changed over time? How do the novels represent, reflect, or augment our understanding of those changes?
  • • Are the texts set in similar places within the city? Different places? What might those similarities or differences tell us?
  • • What might the topographical footprint of each novel tell us? You might think about the availability of movement related to cars and/or public transportation and the history of the city or, alternatively, the ways in which the plots of each novel relate to movement.

These are only suggestions. The idea is that you will think through what your map tells us about either or both of the novels and design a topic to help you explore that idea.



Matthew Dischinger – English, Georgia Institute of Technology