CfP: Historical Geography, GIScience and Text: Mapping Landscapes of Time and Place

Edited by Charles Travis (University of Texas, Arlington, USA), Alexander von Lünen (University of Huddersfield, UK) and Francis Ludlow (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland); to be published with Springer.

History is not the past, but a map of the past drawn from a particular point of view to be useful to the modern traveler.        Henry Glassie

 

In the West, geography as a discipline emerged from the twin pursuits of Strabo’s poetic impressions of place and Herodotus’ chronicles of events and culture. Eratosthenes, who calculated the spherical nature of the Earth while keeper of the Great Library at Alexandria, and Ptolemy brought to the methods of measurement, scale and geometry to the discipline. Thus literature, history and geographical analysis (discursive, cartographical, phenomenological and statistical) have long been interrelated pursuits. Contemporarily, historical geography possesses tributaries which fountain from the robust humanistic academic traditions of many countries: England, Ireland, Sweden, France, Germany, and lesser so in North, Central and South America. The practice of historical geography complements approaches in cultural geography through a triangulation of discursive, cartographic and visual narrative styles, and primary, textual and archival data explorations, with both calibrated by the development of qualitative and quantitative methods, models and theories.[1]  Such approaches intersect with geographical history’s focus on physical landscapes, climate and topography; interests commensurate with the geosciences. By focusing on scales of agency, interaction, scientific inquiry and causation, geographical history maps the multiple variables that have shaped human and natural history in the longue durée—a scale of time traditionally neglected in history, geography and cognate disciplines.[2]  As W. Gordon East, in The Geography Behind History observes:

The familiar analogy between geography and history as the stage and the drama is in several respects misleading, for whereas a play can be acted on any stage regardless of its particular features, the course of history can never be entirely unaffected by the varieties and changes of its settings. History, again, unlike drama, is not rehearsed before enactment, and so different and so changeful are its manifestations that it certainly lacks all unity of place, time and action.[3]

Although many historians, geographers and geoscientists regard geographical information science (GIS) as a mapping practice, its platforms have evolved into new types of visual database technology and interactive media. As a database technology, GIS spatially parses and itemizes attribute data (as a row of statistics, a string of text, an image, a movie) linking coordinates to representations of the locations to which the data refers.[4] As a form of media, GIS holds the possibility to “transcend the instrumental rationality currently rampant among both GIS developers and GIS practitioners and cultivate a more holistic approach to the non-linear relationships between GIS and society.”[5] With the advent of the digital and coding revolutions “the idea of nature is becoming very hard to separate from the digital tools and media we use to observe, interpret, and manage it.”[6] In this light, historical geography methods can help address “the underlying complexities in the human organization of space that present methodological problems for GIS in linking empirical research questions with alternative theoretical frameworks.”[7] It has been recognized that if “we seek a rich and humanistic [digital humanities] capable of meeting more than the technical challenges of our massive geo-temporal datasets, we must develop design approaches that address recent theoretical merging’s of background and foreground, space, and time”.[8]

In this regard, GIScience has broadened its domain, and is entering into the fields of gaming, journalism, movies and broadcasting.  These new GIScience fields, paired with historical geography methods, can appropriate (post) and modernist narratives by incorporating avant-garde artistic and filmic techniques that employ flashback, jump cut and ensemble storylines to represent time-spaces as contingent, rendered fluid montages. Dynamically animated three-dimensional historical geography GIScience models, anchored by the coordinate grids of latitude and longitude, now allow us to synchronize phenomenological impressions with Cartesian perspectives.  John Lewis Gaddis, in The Landscape of History (2002), asks, “What if we were to think of history as a kind of mapping?”[9] Gaddis then links the ancient practice of mapmaking within the archetypal three-part conception of time (past, present, and future). Mapping and narrative are both practices that attempt to manage infinitely complex subjects by imposing abstract grids—in forms such as longitude and latitude or hours and days to frame landscapes and timescapes. If the past is a landscape and historical narrative the way we represent it, then pattern recognition constitutes the primary form of human perception, and can thus be parsed empirically, statistically and phenomenologically.[10]

The aim of this collection is therefore to re-explore relations between historical geography, GIS and text. The collection will revisit, discuss and illustrate current case studies, trends and discourses in European, American and non-Western spheres, in which historical geography is being practiced in concert with human and physical applications of GIS (qualitative, quantitative, critical, proprietary, open-source, ‘neogeographic’ public-participation, geoscientific, human-centric) and text- broadly conceived as archival, literary, historical, cultural, climatic, scientific, digital, cinematic and media. The concept of time (again, broadly conceived) is the pivot around which the contributions to this volume will revolve.  By focusing on research engagements between historical geography, GIS and literary and textual studies, this volume aims to chart a course into uncharted interdisciplinary waters where the Hun-Lenox Globe, built in 1510 warned sailors of Hic sunt dracones (Here be dragons). Our aim is to explore new patterns of historical, geographical and textual perception that exist beyond the mists of our current ontological and epistemological shores of knowledge.

CFP Possible subjects (Suggested Topics Also Welcomed):

  • Re-evaluating Historical Geography in light of GIScience and Text (and vice-versa).
  • Braudelian longue durée, histoire conjucturelle, histoire événmentielle,
  • Literature, natural history and GIScience.
  • Travel writing, history, landscape, mapping.
  • Art history, photography, cinematography.
  • Cliometrics, Critical GIS and GIScience.
  • Palaeography, prosopography, GIScience, place, landscape, environment, climate.
  • Imaginary experiments: counterfactual historical GIScience modelling / counterfactual design / contrasting factual and counterfactual Historical GIScience models.
  • Three-dimensional, immersive, gaming virtual reality GIScience environmental models which allow the influence of human agency to operate within physical, climatic and historical landscapes projected upon the walls, floor and ceiling of an enclosed space.
  • History, climate and landscape.
  • Physical geographies & cultural palimpsests.
  • Historical climatology / climate history.
  • Historical cartography and global warming.
  • Spatial history & geography.
  • Medical cartography, culture, epidemiology.
  • Military campaigns, and human and physical landscapes.
  • Historical geographies of space exploration.
  • Planetary mapping, Sci-Fi and historical GIScience.
  • Representations of GIS in fiction, movies, museums, amusement parks, zoos, eco-tourism.
  • Geosophy, GIScience, text.
  • GIScience chronology vs. GIScience chronometry.
  • Topois of past, present future.
  • Deep Mapping & Deep Charting.
  • Digital and environmental humanities.
  • Nautical and maritime history, records and GIScience.
  • Geography as historical document & GIScience.
  • Genography, GIScience, history, culture.
  • Geology, natural history, GIScience and text.

 PUBLICATION SCHEDULE

  • 1 September 2018: 250-500 word chapter abstracts (and curriculum vita) submitted to Charles Travis (charles.travis@uta.edu), Alexander von Lünen (a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk) and Francis Ludlow (ludlowf@tcd.ie).
  • 15 September 2018: Notification of Abstract Acceptance.
  • 1 December 2018: Contributor chapters due (5000 – 6000 words max).
  • 15 December 2018: Edited chapters sent back to contributors for revisions.
  • 15 January 2019: Contributor revisions due.
  • 15 February 2019: Book submitted to publisher.

 

References

[1] Phil Birge-Liberman, “Historical Geography” in Encyclopedia of Geography, Ed. Barney Warf,  Vol. 3.  Sage Reference, 2010, pp. 1428-1432.

[2]  R. J. Mayhew, 2011. “Historical geography, 2009-2010: Geohistoriography, the forgotten Braudel and the place of nominalism.” Progress in Human Geography, 35(3), 2011, pp. 409-421. (pg. 410)

[3] W. Gordon East. 1965. The Geography Behind History. New York: Norton & Company, Inc., pg. 2

[4] Ian N. Gregory, and R.G. Healey, “Historical GIS: structuring, mapping and analysing geographies of the past.” Progress in Human Geography, 31(5), 2007, pp.638-653

[5] D.Z. Sui, and M.F. Goodchild, “GIS as media?” International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 15(5), 2001, pp. 387-390.

[6] Finn Arne Jørgensen, “The Armchair Traveler’s Guide to Digital Environmental Humanities.” Environmental Humanities 4, 2014, pp. 95-112.

[7] D.G. Janelle, “Time-space. In Geography” in:  N.J. Smelser and P.B. Baltes, eds. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Amsterdam: Pergamon-Elsevier Science, 2001, pp. 15746-15749.

[8] Bethany Nowviskie, “Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene.” Nowviskie.org (blog), July 10, 2014 <http://nowviskie.org/2014/anthropocene/&gt;

[9] J. L. Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press,2002), 32.

[10] J. L. Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press,2002), 32.

Advertisements

New research project started

A new digital humanities project has started on 12 March 2018 at the University of Huddersfield: Hansard@Hud. The project aims to provide a more accessible interface of the Hansard proceeding, the record of parliamentary debates in the UK. For more information, check the project’s blog and follow the project’s Twitter feed.

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and will run for 12 months.

Historia Ludens recap

We had a fantastic conference yesterday on gaming and history in Huddersfield. Much food for thought…

What became clear is that there is a great desire for historians and heritage folks to get engaged with games developers, but there seems to be a cultural gap between the two re development cycles, domain expert knowledge and language barriers. We hope to keep the ball rolling and make some headway here with these meeting. Watch this space for more.

And check out the storify of the conference.

Thanks also to Heritage Quay for hosting us, and the Royal Historical Society for financial support.

 

Historia Ludens — Conference on History and Gaming, 19 May 2017

Organized by the History Division and the Digital Arts and Humanities Research Group

University of Huddersfield

19 May 2017

This conference follows up on the workshop “Playing with History” that has been held in November 2015 in Huddersfield. Gaming and History is gaining more and more traction, either as means to “gamify” history education or museum experiences, or as computer games as prism into history like the popular History Respawned podcast series (http://www.historyrespawned.com/).

Besides discussing gamification or using (computer) games, we also want to explore gaming and playing in a broader historical-cultural sense. Can “playing” be used as category for historical scholarship, maybe alongside other categories such as gender, space or class? Historian Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens from 1938 looked at play and its importance for human culture. Can historians make similar cases for more specific histories? In recent publications historians have pointed to the connection between cities and play. Simon Sleight, for example, has worked on the history of childhood and urban history, i.e. young people appropriating public urban spaces for their ludic activities and their struggle with authorities over this. Archaeologists, as another example, have shown that much of the urban infrastructure of Ancient Rome was dedicated to games, playing and gambling, as it had such a big role in Roman life.

The conference will thus discuss terms like “gaming”, “playing” and “history” in broad terms. There are academic papers in the morning and round-table sessions in the afternoon for networking and demos.

Tickets (£10) are available via the University of Huddersfield web shop [please note: the ticket sale is now closed; please email to the address below and we’ll see if we have tickets left]. Please note: there are travel/conference bursaries for postgraduate students available on request; please contact Dr Alexander von Lünen (a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk) for details.

The conference venue is Heritage Quay on the University of Huddersfield Queensgate campus. For directions please check here.

Programme
Time Activity
09:00 Registration
09:15 Welcome
09:30 Keynote: Adam Chapman, U of Gothenburg: Playing with the Past in the Present and into the Future — How Games Change our Relationship with History
10:30 Coffee Break
Panel session 1
10:45 Yannick Rochat, U of Lausanne: An Overview of Video Games with historical settings (1981–2015)
11:05 Luke Holmes, SS Great Britain Trust: Historical Games in Heritage Practice: designing a game for museum visitors
11:25 Holly Nielsen, U of Cambridge: Board Games — Propaganda and Politics through Play
11:45 Break
Panel session 2
11:50 Juan Hiriart, U of Salford: Designing and Using Digital Games as Historical Learning Contexts for Primary School Classrooms
12:20 Nick Webber, Birmingham City University: History, memory, and online game communities
12:40 Lisa Traynor & Jonathan Ferguson, Royal Armouries Leeds: Shooting for Accuracy — Historicity and Video Gaming
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Introduction to Round-Table sessions, formation of groups
14:15 Round-Table Sessions
15:15 Tea Break
15:30 Plenary discussion
16:00 Summary / Farewell
16:15 End of conference
18:00 Dinner (optional, not included in the conference fee)
Organisation committee:

Chair: Dr Alexander von Lünen, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities, History Division

Committee: Dr Pat Cullum, School Coordinator for Student Experience, School of Music, Humanities and Media; Dr Katherine Lewis, Senior Lecturer in History, History Division; Dr Benjamin Litherland, Lecturer in Media and Popular Culture, Media Studies Division.

With kind support from the

Print

Call for Papers — Historia Ludens: A one-day conference on history and gaming

Organised by the History Division and the Digital Arts and Humanities Research Group, in cooperation with Heritage Quay

University of Huddersfield

11 February 2017

 

This conference follows up on the workshop “Playing with History” that has been held in November 2015 in Huddersfield. Gaming and History is gaining more and more traction, either as means to “gamify” history education or museum experiences, or as computer games as prism into history like the popular History Respawned podcast series (http://www.historyrespawned.com/).

Besides discussing gamification or using (computer) games, we also want to explore gaming and playing in a broader historical-cultural sense. Can “playing” be used as category for historical scholarship, maybe alongside other categories such as gender, space or class? Historian Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens from 1938 looked at play and its importance for human culture. Can historians make similar cases for more specific histories? In recent publications historians have pointed to the connection between cities and play. Simon Sleight, for example, has worked on the history of childhood and urban history, i.e. young people appropriating public urban spaces for their ludic activities and their struggle with authorities over this. Archaeologists, as another example, have shown that much of the urban infrastructure of Ancient Rome was dedicated to games, playing and gambling, as it had such a big role in Roman life.

The conference organisers thus invite contributions from a broad range of topics for a one-strand, one-day conference on gaming and history, broadly defined. Topics can include (but are not restricted to) Serious Gaming, Gamification in History Education, Gamification in Museums, Podcasts, Computer Games, “Playing” as category in historical scholarship, etc. There will also be a display area to showcase projects, either in the form of a poster presentation, or online demos.

The conference organisers strongly encourage postgraduate students to submit either a paper or poster presentation; there is a bursary for postgraduate students (details on request). The publication of proceedings is intended.

Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) and a short CV to Dr Alexander von Lünen, University of Huddersfield (a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk) before 15 January 2017.

 

With kind support from the Royal Historical Society.Print

QGIS course — booked out

Dr Alexander von Lünen, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Huddersfield, is holding a short course on using QGIS in February 2017, in cooperation with Heritage Quay. Unfortunately, the course was booked out very quickly, before there was even a chance to advertise it properly. The DAHRG is intent on organising more skills workshops with Heritage Quay in the future, so watch this space, there may be another GIS course coming at one point…

New Book Out: The Digital Arts and Humanities

A new book has been published by Springer The Digital Arts and Humanities, co-edited by Alexander von Lünen, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Huddersfield, and Charles Travis, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas. The book offers a rich narrative on the potential of digital media in the arts and humanities, with a particular exploration of how the digital arts may inspire the digital humanities.

The book hopes to address some of the methodological conservatism in the digital humanities that, for example, Andrew Prescott has observed by stating that the digital humanities have become “annexed by a very conservative view of the nature of humanities scholarship”. Oftentimes, the digital humanities are merely creating online repositories and then use quantitative methods to analyse them. This books sets out to discuss these tensions, digital vs. non-digital scholarship, by broadening the scope to topics such as performance art, neogeography or conflict studies.

springer2