The Polis Center’s Executive Director David Bodenhamer shares his expertise in spatial humanities in a recently published book, Deep Maps and Spatial Humanities. Part of the IU Press Series on Spatial Humanities, the book appeared in February 2015 and features essays that investigate deep mapping and the spatial narratives that stem from it.
A deep map is a detailed, multimedia depiction of a place and all that exists within it. Whereas traditional maps serve as statements, deep maps serve as conversations. They use Geographic Information Systems as one tool among many digital technologies to enhance an understanding of space and place. Deep mapping encompasses platform, process, and product, with all three expressions embracing the multiple forms of evidence used by humanists and social scientists. This highly innovative approach to questions of space and place aims to make technology more amenable to the needs of scholars and to facilitate a more robust, visual, and interactive spatial narrative [more about Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives]. Each essay in the volume examines deep mapping as a means of exploring the complex problems of society and culture through new creative spaces that are visual, structurally open, multimedia, and multi-layered.
Contributors to the volume come from a variety of disciplines, including GIScience, computer science, history, religious studies, and geography. “What makes deep mapping exciting as an approach is that it draws upon the insights of many disciplines to help us understand how space and culture influence each other—and it uses new technical means to facilitate this understanding,” said Bodenhamer. “We no longer are confined to the flat map but now can use dynamic virtual spaces to explore our data, develop new questions, and enrich our perspective on how society and culture have evolved.”
In addition to his leadership of the Polis Center, Bodenhamer is Professor of History at the IU School of Liberal Arts and editor of IJHAC: A Journal of the Digital Humanities(Edinburgh University Press). In addition to his international reputation as a leader in the spatial humanities, he also is a well-published scholar in American legal and constitutional history. He is joined as editor of this volume by John Corrigan is the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of History at Florida State University and Trevor M. Harris is Eberly Professor of Geography at West Virginia University. The three scholars also serve as founding directors of the Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities; they jointly led an international NEH Advanced Institute on Spatial Narratives and Deep maps that was held at IUPUI in June 2012.
The book is now available for purchase at IU Press and other vendors.