Digitally Mapping the Middle Ages, session at the 99th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, University of Notre Dame, March 14–16, 2024
Since the Spatial turn in the late 1980s, theorists and historians alike have championed the insights geospatial analysis can lend to historical research. The digital age produced a robust array of digital Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for just that purpose. And yet, the most significant obstacle most scholars interested in GIS face is knowing how to get started.
The papers in this MAA panel chart, from start to finish, the process of mapping the Middle Ages. The panel brings together researchers from across disciplines to reflect upon the possibilities of spatial modes of analysis as well as the process for constructing digital visualizations of spatial relationships to advance historical arguments. Each panelist will present ongoing research that involves substantial digital visualizations, tracing their work from conception, to research design, to data collection, to visualization program selection, to modeling and analysis.
Panelists will candidly discuss their processes for turning messy historical evidence into refined datasets and digital visualizations. To make the panel widely accessible, the panelists will assume no specific knowledge of the digital humanities or experience with GIS. This panel questions how the process of spatial analysis and GIS outputs can aid in historical inquiry, particularly research into the medieval period.
Eileen Morgan (University of Notre Dame)
Brittany Forniotis (Duke University)