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Developing the Spacial Humanities: More than GIS

Nov. 16, 2016, 3:55 PM

What contributions have spatial technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) made to the humanities—and what problems have they raised for humanists and social scientists? This presentation explores how scholars are reaching beyond GIS to more robust, multimodal platforms better suited to the nature of humanities questions. In a new multidisciplinary field, known increasingly as spatial humanities, researchers are moving toward deep mapping, a form of spatial representation that embraces the analytical power of GIS but expands it to include memory, emotion, and immersive experiences that GIS alone cannot accommodate.

Bio:
Since 1989, David Bodenhamer has been (founding) Executive Director of The Polis Center and Professor of History at IUPUI. Prior to his appointment, he was Professor of History and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi (1976-1988).

During his tenure, the Polis Center has developed over 500 projects and a wide array of local, national, and international partnerships, with grant and contract funding of over $80 million. He has served as strategic and organizational consultant to universities, government agencies, and not-for-profit and faith-based organizations across the U.S. and in Europe. An active researcher, Bodenhamer is author or editor of twelve books and has published over 30 journal articles and chapters in books. He has made over 75 presentations to audiences on four continents on topics ranging from legal and constitutional history to the use of GIS and advanced information technologies in academic and community-based research. Among his books in American constitutional and legal history are Fair Trial: Rights of the Accused in American History (Oxford University Press, 1993), Our Rights (Oxford University Press, 2007)), and The Revolutionary Constitution (Oxford University Press), published in 2012.

Bodenhamer’s work in the new field of spatial humanities includes The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship (Indiana University Press, 2010) and Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives (Indiana University Press, 2015), in addition to a dozen published essays. Both books were developed with Professors John Corrigan (religious studies) and Trevor Harris (geography), his collaborators in the interdisciplinary Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities (VCSH), an institutional partnership among Florida State University, West Virginia University, and IUPUI. Bodenhamer serves as co-director of the VCSH, which he created with his Corrigan and Harris in 2008 to advance the field of spatial humanities. He also serves as co-general editor of the Indiana University Press Series on Spatial Humanities and co-editor of the IJHAC: A Journal of the Digital Humanities (formerly the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, Edinburgh University Press).

The Vanderbilt Digital Humanities Colloquium series is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Center for Digital Humanities, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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