Oregon State University


The Mercator Map v. The Peters Projection

This short, in class assignment is provided by Kryn Freehling-Burton.

I use this clip from The West Wing at the beginning of all my classes when we discuss privilege and how the effects of colonialism are still felt today.

Students often ask if the Mercator and Peters Projection maps are real—they are. 

Here’s a link that includes much of what West Wing addresses and more! Peters Projection Map

I lead just a short discussion after we watch the clip about what surprised them and other examples of how dominant groups shape conversations and hold power in naming others’ realities.  Since I usually show this at the beginning of week 2 so the students are new to thinking about difference, rarely are the students ready for more than naming what they notice. 

Classes I’ve used this in:

WS 223 Intro to Women Studies

WS 224 Personal and Social Change

WS 230 Women in the Movies

WS 340 Gender and Science

WS 399 Vampires: Sex, Race, and Power

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