Mapping Mrs. Dalloway


The work that the whole class did was really pretty amazing, and I wanted to be sure that everyone had access to the finished projects. As such, I’ve combined all of the maps into a single KMZ that you can download and compare.


If Steve Ramsay says you have to build to be a digital humanist, perhaps we should give it a try.

The Nitty Gritty


You will work in assigned groups to map the movements of characters in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Each group will use Google Earth to create a map of one character: Clarissa Dalloway, Elizabeth Dalloway, Peter Walsh, or Septimus Smith. You will have to read (and re-read) the sections discussing your character very closely.

Your group’s map must include:

  • 10-12 “points of interest.” Each point of interest must have relevant quotations from the text, including page numbers for reference. A point of interest could include (but is not limited to):
    • an exact location given in the narrative
    • pictures of an exact or approximate location
    • pictures of historical figures mentioned in the text at that exact or approximate location
    • links to relevant audio files, video, or other websites relevant to an exact or approximate location or a particular portion of text
    • a description of what prompts narrative shifts; in a stream of consciousness novel, what drives a character’s thoughts can be triggered by her or his surroundings
  • At least one path following the movements of the assigned character.
  • A historical map overlay

Please note, you must include credits / citation information for images, maps, and other objects that you do not create and use in your map.

You should experiment to make your maps as dynamic and innovative as possible. Use the software’s capabilities to its fullest! In addition to office hours, you can get technical support by visiting Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) in the Woodruff Library.

If your group members work separately on mapping, you will need to combine all the map elements into one file before presenting to the class. Make sure files are saved in the “kmz” file format and named to indicate which group the map belongs to. Completed group maps should be emailed to me prior to class on Monday, 10 February Wednesday, 12 February. Your group is responsible for making sure your map is available and ready for presentation.


Groups will present their maps in a 15-minute presentation on 10 or 12 February. Each group member must be involved in the presentation of the map.

Reflection Paper

Furthermore, each of you will individually prepare a two- to three-page paper in which you reflect on the mapping assignment. Reflection papers must be emailed to me as PDFs before class begins on Wednesday, February 12 Friday, February 14. You should also post it to your blog. It does not count as one of your blog posts for the blogging assignment.

Some questions to consider in your reflections are:

  • Did completing this mapping assignment change how I understand Mrs. Dalloway? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • What did I learn by completing this assignment that I could not have learned simply through reading the novel?
  • What did I learn about the digital humanities in this experience?
  • What was my experience of using Google Earth? What were the challenges and how did I or my group overcome them? What are the benefits and drawbacks to using a mapping software program like this?
  • What was my experience of working in a group on this assignment?
  • What would I change about this assignment to make it more relevant, informative, enjoyable, challenging, or interesting?


Maps will be evaluated on how well they meet the objectives outlined above, as well as clarity, creativity, organization, attention to detail, and design.

Presentations will be evaluated on its clarity, organization, your group’s discussion of what you learned, and whether or not every member of the group participates in the presentation.

Your reflection paper will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis, focusing on your thoughtful dialog about the project.


Clarissa Dalloway (yellow)


Elizabeth Dalloway (green)


Peter Walsh (red)


Septimus Smith (blue)



This assignment was inspired by a very similar assignment designed by Erin Sells. Erin was kind enough to share her assignment with me (under the terms of a Creative Commons license), and I adapted it for this class.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.