Principal InvestigatorWendy Kurtz, C.Phil., Spanish & Portuguese; man Lynch, Ph.D., UCLA center for Digital Humanities; Michael Rocchio, C.Phil., UCLA architecture & urban Design
ContributionsProject management, project design, designation that literary messages for analysis, presentation at the global Digital humanities 2014 conference

Our projects think about Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga’s Obabakoak released in 1988. In form, Obabakoak is a “short-story cycle,” such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and also Boccaccio’s Decameron. The cycle’s plenty of interrelated stories and characters are component of Obabakoak’s appeal, but also make it more daunting to interpret. With three different representations the the message via digital mapping & 3D technologies, us ask readers to think about Atxaga’s writing through an entirely new technological lens in bespeak to an obstacle them come critically examine elements of a rigid they would otherwise have ignored.

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ArcGIS, Google Earth, Google MyMaps


2013 & 2014

Digital humanities 2014 Conference file ProposalUniversite de Lausanne & Ecole Polytechnique Federale de LausanneLausanne, Switzerland

Maps are one of the most universal creates of communication. Having actually no need for a composed language or

ottecelli’s relenten of Dante’s Inferno showing the various stages of hell is among the an ext iconic examples of a fictional map of renowned literature, illustrating the assorted stages the hell as defined by Dante. The image, however, if rooted in the native of Dante, also serves come reinforce the modernity that Renaissance culture through the geometry of order and symmetry, a tendency in plenty of works of the Renaissance. By depicting the chaotic human being of hell together seemingly rational and ordered, it permitted Renaissance culture to interpret Dante together a corollary to their modern world, or at the very least their ideal vision of that (Padron). The maps the accompany J.R. Tolkien’s mr of the ring novels room a much more recent instance of this phenomenon in i m sorry maps of literature are used to leg the gap in between fantasy and real human being ideals. Tolkien offers his maps to instill the idea of tranquility being uncovered in the eastern human being (the Shire) and also evil located in the western people (Mordor), a straight correlation to current thought in the wake of human being War i (Croft). The relationship between the fictional human being of literature and also a “real space” offers a powerful tool that enables readers of these works to interpret the creator’s indigenous in a means which make the efforts to link them to the real world and also prevailing ideologies (Piatti).

This line between the an are and ar of the real world and also that that the imaginary people becomes progressively blurred in the last fifty percent century (Joliveau). The works of Henri Lefebvre and Ed Soja contribute to the dissolution of concrete boundaries in between the materiality of the physical space and the abstraction of the psychological space. Lock theorize that the affect of ideas, signs, and texts ~ above spaces is just as prominent as the materiality the a space (Lefebvre, Soja) This sponsor imaginary spaces an additional sphere of influence upon the genuine world and begs for further examination into exactly how readers analyze literary spaces and also what affect they may have actually on their expertise of actual spaces.

Fortunately, new digital devices in mapping and geospatial analysis enable for a more thorough and also in-depth testimonial of these fictional spaces the literature. They carry out the chance for the individual reader to handmade the imaginary room in their own picture instead the defaulting come the omniscient representation detailed by the cartographer, artist, or scholar. Digital tools are becoming increasingly more intuitive and their interfaces and operability are more user friendly. This contributes come their use by an ever-growing audience and allows for more rapid production with much less years the rigorous training. Technologies in digital tools also provide various ways in which spaces deserve to be mapped. GIS offers a solution to the problem of move in areas over time. A specific location or space is no static and spaces evolve over time. These mutations can be led to by organic or man-made disasters–such together an earthquake or tsunami in the former and also war in the latter–or merely by natural evolution over time. In literature, characters often move between an are and place, at times in a non-linear fashion. When attempting come visualize changes to fictitious landscapes end time, digital mapping modern technologies resolve numerous complexities by allowing the reader to produce thick maps the look at time and room through layered pieces.

GIS-based tools allow users to map spaces in an ext conventional methods, while other applications that combine technologies such together Google Earth administer users v a communication to map not only spaces, but also plot journeys that characters take v these spaces. Various other technologies take this one step further and also grant the capability to create an ext immersive 3D atmospheres that effort to create a viewpoint comparable to what the literary character in reality experiences. Additionally procedural modeling software program such together ESRI CityEngine enable for rapid and also adaptable modeling of big spaces through written rules, a skill that was formerly reserved because that the domain of those expert in modeling software, i m sorry is job intensive. Couple this with new software qualified of creating large and expansive terrains, such as VUE, and a user has all of the important tools to create expansive imagine spaces unique to their translate of a reading. Ultimately one might take this also further by incorporating this individually designed atmospheres into amateur gaming software, such as Unity, and also share castle with other users from roughly the globe to take it them on one immersive tourism of the space. This new way of emerging imaginary spaces provides crucial insight right into literary works and also opens brand-new avenues that study, which were formerly unavailable.

In enhancement to examining how GIS tools enhance the reader’s suffer with literary texts, we will talk about the prominence of combine cartography with literary works in the classroom. The combination of digital mapping v literary studies enables us to keep some the the basic pedagogical values of the humanities, such together close reading and also attention come detail. The interpretation of literary messages to produce digital maps that stand for imaginary or fictitious locations, often rooted in actual spaces, outcomes in the translation of a text into a brand-new medium. Preparing a digital map of a fictional room requires students to critically study a narrative in order to recreate a visual depiction (via a map) of the space described. Working v GIS platforms shows students exactly how to connect with literary messages in a new way, while teaching them digital mapping techniques and new skills in computer-mediated learning. George Siemens’ discovering theory entitled “connectivism” helps underline the prestige of combine humanistic research with digital technologies. The connectivist’s theory incorporates the ways we ingest information and also learn in the digital age, wherein as behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism (“three vast learning theory most regularly utilized in the creation of instructional environments”) neglect the technical developments that currently greatly affect the way in which students learn. (Siemens).


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Piatti, Barbara, Bär, Hans Rudolf, Reuschel, Anne-Kathrin, Hurni, Lorenz, Cartwright, William, “Mapping Literature: in the direction of a location of Fiction.” Cartography and Art. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009. 1-16.

Siemens, George. “Connectivism: A learning Theory because that the Digital Age.” global Journal of Instructional modern technology and far-off Learning. 2.1 (January 2005): np.

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Soja, Edward. Thirdspace: journeys come Los Angeles and also other real-and-imagined spaces. Oxford: Blackwell, (1996).

Padron, Ricardo. “Mapping imagine Worlds.” Maps: recognize Our place in the World. Eds. James Akerman and Robert Karrow. Chicago & London: university of Chicago Press, 2007.

Croft, Janet Brennan. “The an excellent War and Tolkien’s Memory: An examination of world War i Themes in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.” Mythlore 23.4 (2002): 4-21.

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Joliveau, Thierry. “Connecting Real and Imaginary areas through Geospatial Technologies: instances from Set-jetting and also Art-Oriented Tourism.” The Cartographic journal 46.1 (February 2009): 36-45.