[Humanist] 26.519 events: digital literary mapping

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Nov 25 10:08:24 CET 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 519.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 07:59:59 +0000
        From: Stuart Dunn <stuart.dunn at kcl.ac.uk>
        Subject: CeRch seminar: Between the real and the imaginary: Using digital mapping in literary studies

Apologies for cross-postings

Centre for e-Research Seminar: Between the real and the imaginary: Using 
digital mapping in literary studies
Anouk Lang, University of Strathclyde


Tuesday 27th November 2012, 18:15
Anatomy Museum, Strand Campus, King's College London (directions: 

Literary critics are used to grappling with the confrontation between 
the real and the representational, but applying geospatial technologies 
to literary texts brings out a host of fresh challenges to contend with 
while probing the relationship between imagined space and cartographic 
space. In this paper, I explore how a number of digital mapping tools – 
ArcGIS, QGIS, Google Earth and the SIMILE project’s Exhibit tool – can 
illuminate the work of twentieth-century authors who engaged with 
modernist culture from positions outside the main Anglo-American and 
European centres of political and cultural power. These tools not only 
add help scholars to identify patterns that may not be easily 
discernible using the tools of conventional literary analysis, but also 
allow them to specify the ways in which a textÂ’s treatment of place 
bears on wider questions such as canonicity, influence and cultural 
nationalism. The Maori writer Witi Ihimaera, for instance, pays homage 
to the celebrated short stories of his New Zealand literary progenitor 
Katherine Mansfield, while simultaneously repositioning them, 
introducing Maori perspectives and places in ways that disrupt the 
eurocentric nature of MansfieldÂ’s texts. In different ways, the two 
authors are both concerned with the dialectic between modernity and 
tradition, a distinction that maps – both geographically and 
conceptually – onto different kinds of space, and that sets the urban 
against the rural, and the colonial against the metropolitan. Using 
geospatial technologies to map the locations in the work of these and 
other authors can provide a much more precise indication of how they 
deploy geography as a symbolic resource, which can in turn generate 
insights into where, and how, non-European cultures and perspectives can 
be excavated from the canonical texts of high modernism.

The seminar will be followed by refreshments.

Dr. Stuart Dunn
Centre for e-Research
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London

26-29 Drury Lane
London, WC2B 5RL

Tel. +44 20 7848 2709
Fax. +44 20 7848 2980

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