Polis Center at IUPUI hosting NEH institute advancing exploration of space and maps

The Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities, a multi-disciplinary collaboration among Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Florida State University and West Virginia University, is hosting an advanced institute in spatial narratives and deep maps. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this two-week intensive institute brings leading scholars from around the world to explore how deep maps can support relevant issues in spatial humanities.
These competitive NEH grants seek to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technologies in their research and teaching. Fellows participating in the institute will explore spatial narratives and deep maps by engaging in existing projects as well as through production of a prototype deep map. At the end of the institute, the fellows will have the opportunity to present their work.
“As humans, we are place-bound,” said David Bodenhamer, executive director of The Polis Center at IUPUI and co-director of the institute. “We continually shape and reshape space to create places that have meaning for us — our homes, our communities, our environment. In this institute, we are exploring how to use powerful geospatial technologies to help us capture and understand a deep sense of place, as well as how to tell effective stories about the places that we study.”
The institute is being administered by the Polis Center in Indianapolis from June 18 to 29 and is led by Bodenhamer (history, IUPUI), John Corrigan (religious studies, Florida State University) and Trevor Harris (geography, West Virginia University). A second NEH advanced institute, Digital Cultural Mapping, is concurrently hosted by UCLA. Scholars from both institutes have the opportunity to learn from each other through video conferencing and shared publications.
For more information, follow daily blogs from the NEH Institute. You can also follow #PolisNEH on Twitter for updated information about the institute.


About the Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities
The Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities is a collaboration among IUPUI, Florida State University and West Virginia University to develop technologies and methods and to create a scholarly literature for the field of spatial humanities. It is a recognized leader in researching and developing methods to advance the use of geographic information systems in nontraditional fields. The specific focus of the Virtual Center has been religion in the Atlantic world.
About The Polis Center
The Polis Center is a self-funded research unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. It seeks to understand the communities in which we live through an entrepreneurial and innovative approach, finding practical, effective and cost-efficient ways for communities to enhance their capacity for meaningful change. Polis works with professional and scholarly communities, especially through application of digital technologies such as geographic information systems and other geospatial tools.

Jason Kelly to lead IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute

Jason Kelly, associate professor of British history in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been appointed the inaugural director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. His appointment is effective July 1.

Established in 2011, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute supports campus-wide attainment of excellence in research and creative activity in arts and humanities. Its mission includes showcasing and promoting the major intellectual and scholarly contributions that IUPUI faculty members from across disciplines are making in the arts and humanities.

In addition to supporting faculty members through grant programs, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute will serve as a liaison between IUPUI and the community, fostering ongoing partnerships and ventures that advance arts and humanities endeavors.

“I am thrilled to be the first director of the IAHI,” Kelly said. “IUPUI has a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of scholars who specialize in the arts and humanities. Their work has regional, national and international impact, and the IAHI will be a resource to help them thrive. IUPUI is more than a life sciences campus; it is a university with a dynamic arts and humanities faculty as well. The mission of the IAHI is to support their scholarship and to help them enrich the cultural landscape of Indianapolis.

“The IAHI’s mission goes beyond campus. It will play an important role in the city as Indianapolis continues to develop and grow. It will work to extend IUPUI’s relationships with community partners. Through sponsoring lectures, performances and exhibitions, the IAHI will benefit the city and help strengthen its cultural reputation,” Kelly said.

In the next year, the IAHI will expand its grant program and develop IUPUI’s arts and humanities programming — on campus, downtown and online.

“I am happy that we have a person of the caliber of Dr. Jason Kelly as the inaugural director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute,” said Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research. “I expect that his many talents and enthusiasm will enable the institute to reach its vision of being recognized nationally and internationally as an innovative leader in research and scholarship in the arts and humanities.”

Before Kelly’s appointment, IAHI was guided by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Council, which reports to Varahramyan. The council is composed of faculty members from the Schools of Liberal Arts, Engineering and Technology, Informatics, and Medicine; Herron School of Art and Design; and University Library. The council will continue to help shape the future direction of IAHI and assist in the establishment and implementation of initiatives, programs, strategies and resources.

Kelly was recently elected a Society of Antiquities of London fellow, a prestigious honor that will give him the opportunity to contribute the society’s efforts to advance and further the study and knowledge of the antiquities in London and other countries.

Kelly’s academic interests are varied and include the history of European art and architecture, the history of civil rights, and the digital humanities. He teaches courses on the history of science, gender and historiography. Kelly’s most recent book was “The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment” (Yale University Press, 2010).
About Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Known as Indiana’s premier urban research and health sciences campus, IUPUI is dedicated to advancing the intellectual growth of the state of Indiana and its residents through research and creative activity, teaching, learning and civic engagement. Nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and other notable publications, IUPUI has more than 30,000 students enrolled in 21 schools, which offer more than 250 degrees. IUPUI awards degrees from both Indiana and Purdue Universities. For more information, visit iupui.edu.