Spatial Humanities and Religion in America: An NEH Summer Institute

Summer 2012 NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities

Spatial Narrative and Deep Maps: Explorations in the Spatial Humanities

June 18-29, 2012

Call for Proposals: Applications due Friday, February 3, 2012

The Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities (VCSH), a multidisciplinary collaboration among Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), Florida State University, and West Virginia University, is pleased to announce an NEH Advanced Institute for summer 2012 designed to advance exploration of key topics in the spatial humanities. The institute will offer scholars the opportunity to discover the benefits of a spatial-analytical approach to humanities scholarship and to explore how to bend geo-spatial technologies, including GIS and Web 2.0 tools, to the needs of the humanities. Two areas of emphasis will be spatial narratives and deep maps. Fellows participating in the program will learn both by engaging with a variety of existing projects as well as through the production of a prototype project in collaboration with the VCSH team. Fellows also will have an opportunity to present their own work and to contribute to scholarly and Web products that result from the institute.

The institute will meet in Indianapolis from June 18 to 29, 2012 and will be administered by IUPUI’s Polis Center. It will draw upon a multidisciplinary faculty from the three collaborating institutions, as well as leading scholars in the field of spatial humanities from the US and UK, and will be supported technically by the advanced technology group of the Polis Center. The institute schedule will allow time for fellows to interact with the staff and to seek advice for their own projects or project ideas, but the primary focus will be on how to use geo-spatial technologies to enhance the narrative and analytical traditions of the humanities. The fellows will work with project staff to develop a prototype deep map to support multi-scalar and contingent analysis of problems of interests to humanists. To focus this work, the institute will explore the spatial contexts of American religion, using the Digital Atlas of American Religion, an NEH-supported project of VCSH, and the multi-faceted evidence from the Polis Center’s six-year study of the intersection of religion and urban culture in a mid-sized American city.

About the fellowships:
Up to 12 fellowships will be awarded to individuals or teams who demonstrate serious interest in the application of geo-spatial technologies to problems in the humanities. While scholars in all humanities disciplines are eligible to apply, we are especially interested in collaborating with those who have experience in one or more geo-spatial technologies as well as scholars who have thought about the spatial dimensions of American religion.

During the institute, fellows will explore central issues in the spatial humanities, including such topics as database structures and information architectures, interactive design, and collaborative research, while situating these concerns within the fields of American history and religious studies. Guest lecturers during the summer include Ian Gregory (historical GIS and digital humanities, Lancaster University), Anne Knowles (historical geography, Middlebury College), Katy Börner (informatics and advanced visualization, Indiana University), and Art Farnsley (sociology of religion, IUPUI), among others. Institute leaders are David Bodenhamer (history, IUPUI), John Corrigan (religious studies, Florida State), and Trevor Harris (geography, West Virginia University).

All fellows will participate in a two-week residency June 18-29 at IUPUI. The residency will include colloquia and working sessions in which participants collectively will develop project foundations and address relevant issues in spatial humanities. Fellows also will be provided the opportunity to present their own projects. Applicants need not be proficient with geo-spatial technologies but must demonstrate some level of engagement with them as well as with spatial questions and analyses. Evidence of the capacity for successful collaboration and for scholarly innovation is required. Fellowship awards will include a stipend of $3,000 for each participant, as well as a travel allowance. Accommodation and meal costs will be the responsibility of each fellow, but the institute will seek to arrange low-cost housing for participants. We welcome scholars from all career levels, from advanced graduate student to full professor.

About the proposals:

Proposals should include the following:

Two to three-page statement of how participation in the institute will fit the scholarly and professional goals of the applicant.

One-page description of the applicant’s experience with geo-spatial technologies and spatial analysis.

Brief CV (maximum of three pages)

Letter of support from department chair for non-tenured faculty or from dissertation advisor for doctoral candidates.

Projects that articulate a clear understanding of the potential of spatial humanities and the problems associated with the use of geo-spatial technologies in humanities scholarship will be regarded favorably.

Electronic applications are required. Submit applications and questions to ddearthatiupuidotedu.

Deadline for applications: Friday, February 3, 2012. Fellowship recipients will be notified in mid April, 2012.


Popular Posts