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

This call connects the topic briefly to archives, and may be of interest to those who incorporate GIS into archival work.

______________________________________________

Charles Travis (UT, Arlington) Alexander von Lunen (Huddersfield University) and Francis Ludlow (Trinity College Dublin)

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 Historyobserves:

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.

This edited volume will consist of three sections that focus on the relations between historical geography, GIS and text (broadly conceived)

  • The first section’s chapters will trace and re-evaluate historical geography, geographical history, cartography, textual practices over the past one hundred years or so. In addition, chapters will also focus on the emergence of GIS and the geospatial humanities / digital geo-humanities.
  • The second section will feature standard case study chapters (as well as works in progress, in addition to alternative approaches- such as counterfactual studies, digital environmental humanities, etc.)
  • The third section will feature chapters featuring emerging theoretical and state of the art projects, It will also include chapters that consider prospective ways in which historical, GIScience and textual studies could create further bridges between the arts, humanities and sciences.

Possible topics (suggested topics also welcomed):

  • Re-evaluating Historical Geography in light of GIScience and Text (and vice-versa).
  • Braudelianlongue 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.
  • Imaginaryexperiments: counterfactual historical GIScience modelling / counterfactual design / contrasting factual and counterfactualHistorical 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.
  • Historicalclimatology / climate history.
  • Historicalcartography and global warming.
  • Spatialhistory & geography.
  • Medicalcartography, culture, epidemiology.
  • Militarycampaigns, 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

I. 1 September 2018: (Early submissions encouraged) 250-500 word chapter abstracts (and curriculum vita) submitted to Charles Travis (charles.travis@uta.edu), Alexander von Lunen (A.F.VonLuene@hud.ac.uk) and Francis Ludlow (ludlowf@tcd.ie)

II. 15 September 2018: Notification of Abstract Acceptance.

III. 1 December 2018: Contributor chapters due (5000 – 6000 words max).

IV. 15 December 2018: Edited chapters sent back to contributors for revisions.

V. 15 January 2019: Contributor revisions due.

VI. 15 February 2019: Book submitted to publisher.

Notes


[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 Humanities4, 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/>

[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.

Contact Info:Dr. Charles Travis, Department of History, University of Texas, Arlington, U.S.A. (charles.travis@uta.edu), ; Dr. Alexander Von Lunen, History, University of Huddersfield, U.K. (A.F.VonLuene@hud.ac.uk) and Dr. Francis Ludlow, Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College, The University of Dublin, Ireland (ludlowf@tcd.ie)

Contact Email: charles.travis@uta.edu

 

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