Geographic Information Systems and the Digital Humanites

I am a 20th and 21st century Americanist and research in the area of transnational American studies. I am currently pursuing a project that will think of ways in which we can incorporate GIS and GPS technologies in the Digital Humanities. Since the basic thrust of transnational studies is to question and erode national boundaries and nation-based paradigms of comprehension, I think there is a productive overlap between transnational theory and these new technologies that enable us to circumvent and remap nation-based imaginaries. I am interested in sharing ideas about the ways by which we can incorporate GIS and GPS technologies in the DH and in transnational studies. In what ways can we use technologies such as Google Earth to enhance DH? What software should we be familiar with? Do we need to be vigilant about corporate interests when we utilize GIS and GPS  technologies?

About the author


My research interests span both the 20th and 21st centuries and lie at the crossroads of three broad theoretical trajectories: genre theory; political philosophy; and the conjunction of transnationalism and the ethical philosophies of Levinas and Derrida.
In terms of locale, the focus of my research is primarily the United States and as regards period, it ranges from the late 1940s (with the recession of the Old Left) to contemporary times, including the cultural imaginary of the U.S. after 9/11.


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  1. Tony Moreno

    This sounds pretty interesting to me; I’ve been exploring Google Earth and its various options to display a variety of ideas/imagery. Additionally I’ve been exploring possible ways to for collaboration with group projects in GE and google maps as well.

  2. Meg Roland

    I am very interested in participating in a GIS session as well. I am a medievalist and reearcher on late medieval cartography. I taught a class last spring on Cartography and Literature in which students created a GIS literary edition (among other things) We read Sebald’s RIngs of Saturn, I spoke at last year’s MLA on this topic various theoretical works, medieval works, THoreau. I am particularly interested in how can we integrate the spatial properties of GIS into literary studies and include students in DH projects that investigate these two fields? Love to talk with some other folks, and I would be glad to share my students’ project to get input. There is a good introduction in The Spatial Humanities that I could bring copies of as a starting point for discussion. Let’s organize a session!
    –Meg Roland, Marylhurst University, Portland, Oregon

  3. Bimbisar Irom

    I very much look forward to working with you and learning from you both, Meg and Tony.

  4. Jim Proctor

    Yes, let’s talk further; I’ll be posting a possible session on digital field scholarship, for which GPS/GIS play important roles.

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