Creating Spatial Historical Knowledge
New Approaches, Opportunities and Epistemological Implications of Mapping History Digitally
October 20-22, 2016
First Annual GHI Conference on Digital Humanities and Digital History
International Workshop and Conference at the German Historical Institute Washington
Conveners: Matthew Hiebert (GHI), Simone Lässig (GHI), Stephen Robertson (George Mason University)
In collaboration with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and Digital Humanities at Berkeley
Thursday, October 20
|9:00 - 10:00||Event Welcome|
Simone Lässig (GHI)
|9:30 - 11:15||Workshops 1|
Garage Band GIS or Every Historian a Mapmaker – Seminar Room
Prospect – Reading Room
11:15 - 11:30
|11:30 - 1:15||Workshops 2|
Co-Created Cultural Gazetteers for Digital Spatial Research – Seminar Room
The Panorama Toolkit – Reading Room
|1:15 - 2:15|
|2:15 - 4:00||Workshops 3|
nodegoat – Create and Explore Historical Data through Diachronic Spatial Mapping - Seminar Room
Georeferencing Historical Maps – Reading Room
4:00 - 4:15
|4:15 - 6:00||Workshops 4|
Spatial History Pedagogy – Seminar Room
Exploring the Social Impact of Mapping Community Memory with Historypin – Reading Room
|6:00 - 6:30|
|6:30 - 8:00||Public Lecture|
Toward a Spatial Narrative of the 1935 Harlem Riot: Mapping and Storytelling after the Geospatial Turn
Friday, October 21
|9:30 - 10:00||Conference Introduction|
Matthew Hiebert (GHI)
|10:00 - 12:00||Panel 1: Charting New Methods|
Chair: Jennifer Serventi (NEH)
Anne Knowles (University of Maine)
Cameron Blevins (Northeastern University)
Helmut Walser Smith (Vanderbilt University)
12:00 - 1:00
|1:00 - 3:00||Panel 2: Transformations in Historical Inquiry|
Chair: Atiba Pertilla (GHI)
Katherine McDonough (Western Sydney University)
Ralph Barczok (University of Konstanz)
|3:00 - 3:15|
|3:15 - 5:30||Panel 3: Mapping Power|
Chair: Elisabeth Engel (GHI)
Werner Stangl (University of Graz)
Matthew Unangst (Temple University)
Robert Nelson (Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond)
Habbo Knoch (University of Cologne)
Saturday, October 22
|9:30 - 11:30||Panel 4: Digitally Remediating Spatial Source Materials|
Chair: Trevor Muñoz (MITH, University of Maryland)
Waitman Wade Beorn (University of Virginia)
Anne Sarah Rubin (University of Maryland)
Ute Schneider (University of Duisburg-Essen)
11:30 - 1:00
|1:00 - 3:15||Panel 5: Spatial Approaches in Cultural and Literary History|
Chair: Paul Jaskot (DePaul University)
David Wrisley (American University of Beirut)
Diana Roig Sanz (Open University of Catalonia/ KU Leuven)
Alex Christie (Centre for Digital Humanities, Brock University)
Robert C. Allen (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
3:15 - 3:30
|3:30 - 5:30||Panel 6: Public History Online and Spatial Social Knowledge Creation|
Chair: Mareike König (DHI Paris)
Jana Moser (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography)
David Eltis (University of British Columbia)
David Hochfelder (University at Albany, SUNY)
|5:30 - 6:00||Closing Remarks|
Please Note: Workshop attendance requires individual registration for each workshop. All workshop participants are requested to bring a laptop if possible.
Workshops 1: 9:30am - 11:15am
"Garage Band GIS or Every Historian a Mapmaker" (Seminar Room)
Helmut Walser Smith (Vanderbilt University)
This workshop will be led by Helmut Walser Smith of Vanderbilt University.
"Prospect" (Reading Room)
Michael Newton (Digital Innovation Lab)
Prospect is a new data curation and visualization collaboratory developed in the Digital Innovation Lab at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). Prospect supports a number of data visualization techniques, including geo-spatial maps, and is implemented as a plugin for WordPress. Prospect offers a number of easy-to-use geo-spatial features, such TMS overlay maps and map groups, marker coloring via a Legend mechanism, variable marker sizing determined by a numeric attribute, connections between markers, and more. Prospect complements geo-spatial visualizations with a range of other graphic representations: card galleries, timelines, facet browsers, parallel sets, tree maps, networks, and more. It also allows users to filter and highlight data on visualizations according to arbitrary attribute criteria and to coordinate embedded references to records in textual narratives with data visualizations so as to create dynamic diagrams.
This workshop run by Michael Newton of Digital Innovation Lab will demonstrate some of the main features and affordances of Prospect by highlighting projects built with the platform. It will also guide users who have access to their own WordPress site through configuring Prospect with a sample data set.
Workshops 2: 11:30am - 1:15pm
"Co-Created Cultural Gazetteers for Digital Spatial Research" (Seminar Room)
David Joseph Wrisley (American University of Beirut)
What kinds of basic historical knowledge helps make “places into centers of meaning” (Mostern & Johnson)? Southall, Mostern and Berman (2011) have argued that whereas geographers tend to prefer time-based or feature-based gazetteers, historical research would benefit from other sorts of cultural information: events, texts, objects, languages. This workshop (1) investigates models for participatory creation of scholarly spatial data and meta-data in their early stages, (2) explores the kinds of “depth” of information that historians, literary historians or art historians might want to include in a cultural gazetteer, and (3) discusses in a roundtable format the implications of such co-created data. Led by David Joseph Wrisely (American University of Beirut) this workshop will involve hands-on discovery of both traditional and emergent models of co-curated gazetteers, such as Pleiades, Ieldran, JewishGen, PlaceNames, China Historical GIS, and Gazetteer for Early Modern London.
"The Panorama Toolkit" (Reading Room)
Robert Nelson (University of Richmond)
Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen Design)
Run by Robert Nelson and Eric Rodenbeck, this workshop will provide an introduction to the open-source toolkit developed for Eric Rodenbeck, this workshop will provide an introduction to the open-source toolkit developed for American Panorama. A suite of more than twenty "components," the toolkit is tailored for the creation of interactive, data-rich historical maps. These components can be used in a React application. This makes them adaptable and flexible, but it also means developing a map using the toolkit requires some facility with programming.
Workshops 3: 2:15pm - 4:00pm
"Nodegoat" (Seminar Room)
Pim van Bree and Greet Kessels (LAB1100)
Nodegoat is a web-based research environment that facilitates an object-oriented form of data management with integrated support for diachronic and spatial modes of analysis. This research environment has been developed to allow scholars to design custom relational database models. Nodegoat dynamically combines and extends these functionalities in one web-based GUI. As a result, nodegoat offers researchers an environment that seamlessly combines data management functionalities with the ability to analyze and visualize data.
Run by Pim an Bree and Geert Kessels of LAB1100 this workshop will (1) present nodegoat's methodological framework based on actor-network theory, (2) demonstrate the methodology by means of a hands-on introduction to the functionalities of nodegoat, and (3) provide two case students in which participants are asked to explore data in nodegoat towards discussing geographical representation, uncertainty in both time and geolocalization, and approaches to the exploration of dynamic datasets by both researchers and public audiences.
"Georeferencing Historical Maps" (Reading Room)
Randa El Khatib (University of Victoria, Canada)
This workshop will focus on teaching participants to georederence historical maps in order to accurately reflect their target historical period in spatial terms. It will also point participants to key open access tools that will help enhance their mapping practices more generally. This includes automatically geoparsing data in any text, and exporting this information into a file that can be reusable on other platforms. We will also explore major historical gazetters for spatial data. Throughout the workshop, key concepts in digital/spatial humanities will be addressed.
Workshops 4: 4:15pm - 6:00pm
"Spatial Historical Pedagogy" (Seminar Room)
Franzika Seraphim (Boston College), Joe Nugent (Boston College), and Paul Vierthaler (Leiden University)
Led by Franziska Seraphim (Boston College), Joe Nugent (Boston College), and Paul Vierthalter (Leiden University), the purpose of this workshop is to explore the (undergraduate) classroom as a laboratory for digital scholarship. Involving students in the humanities and social sciences (specifically History and English) in the production of knowledge beyond individual academic paper writing opens up new possibilities for active and collaborative learning and ultimately prepares them for the “real world” more holistically. Like the outside-grant supported (digital) projects that tend to drive faculty research, “doing history” via digital technology introduces students to the life cycle of historical research, from data collection (primary sources) to contextualization and interpretation (via secondary sources) to publication in forms that are more immediate than the usual printed article or book. The classroom-as-laboratory offers opportunities to introduce students to the idea and practice of using available mapping technology to visualize history—that is, to use quantitative information to ask and answer qualitative questions—and to have something to show for it at the end. This presents a whole set of new challenges: generating interest in these new technologies among humanities students, configuring the classroom in such a way that it brings together different student expertise to make collaboration fruitful, balancing academic content-driven work with practical technology-driven skills, and partnering with library staff to sequence class and homework activities.
"Exploring the Social Impact of Mapping Community Memory with Historypin" (Reading Room)
Joss Voss (Historypin)
In this workshop, we’ll explore the intersection of geographical history, personal narrative, archival content, and social change. Now used by over 75,000 individuals and 3,000 cultural heritage organizations and local groups around the world, Historypin is a free and easy-to-use platform to help build community around local history. We use Linked Open Data technologies and an API to share our metadata and interoperate with a growing number of content and preservations partners including the Internet Archive, Europeana, and the Digital Public Library of America.
In this workshop, we’ll give an overview of the Historypin project, how it is being used in local communities and by scholars to engage with knowledge communities, as well as some of our major initiatives. We will also walk through our user-centered design process for community memory projects, including audience analysis, outcome mapping, product design, outreach, execution and evaluation. Finally, we’ll demonstrate how (and why) you can use Historypin in your own community or for a specific project.
Toward a Spatial Narrative of the 1935 Harlem Riot
Mapping and Storytelling after the Geospatial Turn
October 20, 2016, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Lecture at the GHI
Speaker: Stephen Robertson (George Mason University)
This lecture considers spatial narrative as a form of digital scholarship, and particularly as a means of building arguments and interpretations from the maps combining and displaying sources that have proliferated with the expansion of web-based mapping. I explore the process of shaping a narrative of the 1935 Harlem Riot based on Year of the Riot, a deep map of the Harlem neighborhood developed as an extension of the award-winning Digital Harlem project. A riot offers a particularly rich example for exploring the possibility of spatial narrative: an event that, while beginning at an identifiable origin, spirals out in multiple directions and changes over time in ways that expose the limitations of the existing linear web-based story-map authoring platforms.
Stephen Robertson is Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and Professor in the Department of History and Art History, at George Mason University since 2013. He is author of Crimes against Children: Sexual Violence and Legal Culture in New York City, 1880-1960, co-author of Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars, and one of the creators of the web site, Digital Harlem, which won the American Historical Association’s inaugural Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History and the American Library Association’s ABC-CLIO Digital History Prize in 2010. Robertson is currently collaborating with Shane White and Stephen Garton on a spatial history of the 1935 Harlem riot.
This keynote lecture is part of the symposium “Creating Spatial Historical Knowledge New Approaches, Opportunities and Epistemological Implications of Mapping History Digitally.”
This event brings together into critical dialogue historians from North America, Germany, the international institutes of the Max Weber Foundation, and beyond, to comparatively examine emerging digital approaches, new research problematics, and implications for the discipline of history and its understanding, for those using or producing digital maps to create spatial historical knowledge. For centuries, historians have provided maps within their work to visualize complex information. With the increasing awareness of spatial dimensions in history and the invention of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), historical research should grant mapping a greater methodological role in processes of research and scientific discovery. Reflecting through the international exchange of ideas upon the impact of digital mapping today on conceptions of history, methodology, Quellenkritik, and theoretical frameworks, offers understanding into how the discipline of history and the knowledge it creates are changing in response to a new digital spatial turn.
The ascendance of neogeography and digital humanities has resulted in a global explosion of scholarly mapping projects that appear to overcome limitations of traditional Historical GIS by utilizing dynamic content to represent temporal change, and through accessible tools to construct independent and crowd-sourced databases often derived from archival materials beyond census data and other forms of official record. Concurrent with these recent historiographical developments, contemporary historical research has given increased focus to the role of print-based maps e.g. in the construction of nations, surpralocal identities, and imperial territorialities. The interest in digitizing such maps and enriching them with metadata and other information useful for scholars is more than apparent at an international level. However, mapping projects are often focused on technological solutions and rarely discuss methodological or theoretical implications for historical scholarship.
To open up opportunities for critical inner-, but also inter-disciplinary theoretical-methodological reflection and comparison, the event seeks to present a large range of methodological approaches and geographic scales and topics. We especially welcome, therefore, proposals that are comparative in scope, projects integrating multiple digital techniques, and approaches operating at multiple spatial and temporal scales. While the overriding concern of the event is mapping within historiography and within history from the Early Modern period to the contemporary, the range of approaches is open and may involve digital humanities, cultural history, political history, history of knowledge, (post)colonial History, urban history, the history of historiography or other critical frameworks. Although research centered on nation-states is relevant, we are particularly interested in the question of how to map transnational and transregional history sufficiently.
We plan for the conference to unfold over three days at the GHI Washington: Thursday (Oct. 20), co-convened with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, is dedicated to workshops focused on new methodological approaches and digital tools; Friday (Oct. 21) and Saturday (Oct. 22), co-convened with Digital Humanities at Berkeley, are comprised of panels, roundtable discussions, and lectures.
Please submit proposals by May 15, 2016
- 20-minutes presentations or
- workshops of one hour and forty-five minutes.
Questions and topics that might be addressed (but are by no means limited to) are:
- Reflecting on the transformation of historical inquiry after the digital spatial turn
How are digital mapping and the digitizing of historical maps impacting knowledge creation in specific areas of historical research and vice versa: What kind of historical data and knowledge (Grundlagenforschung) is available, what is needed when we want to use the full potential of the digital age? In what ways are spatial humanities and digital mapping affecting the nature of historical inquiry? How are new mapping techniques shaping historical narrative and argumentation?
- The impact and challenge of new digital methods for creating spatial historical knowledge
Do emerging digital methods transcend perceived limitations and criticisms of more traditional forms of Historical Geo-Information-Systems (GIS)? Today, how is GIS being productively integrated with neogeography? What are challenges and imperatives in both designing and reading maps as part of scholarly practice? What are the current limitations of digital tools?
- Opportunities and challenges to web-based and citizen science map-oriented research
In what ways are Web 2.0 digital tools facilitating new forms of "spatio-temporal" inquiry? What are the epistemological implications of a public scholarly mapping project? What role can and should "citizen scientists" play in these processes? What are the implications of open digital mapping for research excellence and its assurance?
- Exploring the intersection of digital spatial history and other critical frameworks
How have maps been used by political agents in the construction of national and social identities and what role can digital mapping play in this critique? How should spatial historians approach the political, social, and cultural dimensions of their own online research projects? What relationships pertain or can be forged between other humanities-based critical frameworks and spatial history?
- The digital remediation of print-based maps and other spatial source material
How are and should print-based maps be digitally preserved, be made digitally available, and be digitally edited or studied? Which additional information and data will be needed and should be attached/included? What are the key issues and tools surrounding the alignment of historical print-based digitized maps with dynamic ones? What are methods, challenges, and results in developing a database from archival sources? Historically, what similarities and dissimilarities pertain between cartography, print-based map design and publication, and emergent digital approaches?
Funding is available to cover travel expenses. In addition to giving a presentation or workshop, participants may submit twenty-pages for an anthology to be published in 2017. Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words, with a short (1-2 page) CV, by 15 May 2016 to Susanne Fabricius. For further information regarding format and concept of the event please contact Dr. Matthew Hiebert.