Esri Press

Abstract Machine: Humanities GIS

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In Abstract Machine, author Charles Travis uses GIS technology to interpret, analyze, and visualize literary, historical, and philosophical texts. Travis's study shows how mapping language patterns, fictional landscapes, geographic spaces, and philosophical concepts helps support critical analysis. Travis bases his interpretive model upon the ancient Greek and Roman practice of geographia, and applies it to works by authors including Samuel Beckett, Patrick Kavanagh, Flann O’Brien, and James Joyce. Travis illustrates how scholars in the humanities can experiment with GIS to create visualizations that support and illustrate their critical analysis of humanities texts, and survey, navigate, and imagine various story-paths through space and time.

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Charles Travis is a senior research fellow with the Trinity Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin, where he holds a PhD in geography. He develops methodologies and applications for humanities geographical information systems (HGIS) and conducts research in the digital and environmental humanities and in human and literary geography. He edited the volume, History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections (2012), with Alexander von Lünen; and published the monograph Literary Landscapes of Ireland: Geographies of Irish Stories, 1929–1946 (2009). He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the digital humanities at Trinity College and has held teaching posts at Trinity College, the University of South Florida, and several other universities.

ISBN: 9781589483682    2015   152 pages   $52.99