Current and recent funded research includes:

Creating a Chronotopic Ground for the Mapping of Literary Texts: Innovative Data Visualisation and Spatial Interpretation in the Digital Medium. AHRC, 2017-2020

This project is about the visualising of literary place and space, using the digital medium in a way never before attempted to advance spatial understanding and interpretation of literary texts for a range of users. We view space and time in literature as a central element of the understanding and interpretation of texts, but one that is often overlooked. Literary mapping has the potential to bring it to the fore and allow it to be understood and appreciated in new ways. We will interpret texts and images by an iterative structure (returning upon itself) that connects visual and verbal representations and moves between them. So, a text is analyzed; maps are produced and the fictional world visualised; then there is a return to the text in the light of such spatialisation for in-depth analysis, enriched and deepened by the act of visualisation that mapping has given us. We are also interested in adapting gaming engines to the exploration of space and place in canonical literary forms, creating a range of maps and full 3D visualisations for different kinds of imaginative terrain and mapping at different scales. Our project will significantly enhance knowledge and understanding of digital tools for the spatial humanities, for literary mapping and for spatial approaches to the analysis and interpretation of literary works. (PI: Sally Bushell)

Digging into Early Colonial Mexico. Digging into Data, 2017-2020

The Colonisation of America is a fundamental process in the history of the modern world. To date much research has focused on a close reading of a handful of the Relaciones Geográficas, one of the most important sources for the colonial history of America. Using a Big-Data approach, this project will apply novel computational methodologies to their analysis, and it will identify, extract, cross-link, and analyse information of vital importance to historical enquiry. In doing so, the project will transform the way historical sources are approached and analysed by modern scholars. (PIs: Patricia Murrieta-Flores, Lancaster University; Bruno Emanuel da Graça Martins, Universidade de Lisboa; Diego Jiménez-Badillo, Museo del Templo Mayor, INAH)

Urban Heritage and the Digital Humanities in India. AHRC, 2017-19

Co-Investigator: Dr Hilal Ahmed, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

The Research Network will use Digital Humanities methodologies to review existing digital projects, generate strategies for the integration and analysis of existing urban heritage materials and for future documentation projects. A key outcome of the network is the creation of an app, SHARC Dilli, that will geolocate specific fragments of experience from the lives of refugees in the city in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Space and Narrative in the Digital Humanities: A Research Network. AHRC, 2017-18

Co-Investigator: Dr John Stell, University of Leeds

This network brings together two distinct fields that previously have had little interaction: geographical information science (GISc) and qualitative spatial representation (QSR). The aim is to explore whether a combination of approaches from the two can provide flexible ways of representing spatial information that are suited for the digital humanities. The network brings experts from history, literary studies and archaeology together with experts from computer science, artificial intelligence and GISc.

Pelagios 6: Pelagios Commons. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2016-17

pelagiosPelagios is an international collaborative initiative dedicated to the use of Linked Open Data and geospatial Web technologies within the Humanities. This project cycle is dedicated to improving tools and communication facilities for its expanding community.

Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language Project. Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2016-19

webbannerThe Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s language project brings a new method of language research – the corpus approach – into the heart of Shakespearean studies. It affords fresh insights into Shakespeare’s use of language at multiple levels – words, phrases, semantic themes, character profiles and more. In
particular, it reveals what Shakespeare’s language meant to the Elizabethans through the analysis of millions of words written by his contemporaries. The two-volume encyclopaedia will be published by Bloomsbury. The project will not only share the rich resources it produces to generate the encyclopaedia, but enable users to deploy them for their own purposes.

Geospatial Innovation in the Digital Humanities. Leverhulme Trust, 2015-18

A project that is using digitalGeospatial_Innovation_Logo1 cropped technologies to develop new understandings of the Lake District. It focuses on a 300 year period between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, a time that witnessed successive social, cultural, economic and industrial revolutions which impacted on the landscape and contributed to the area’s heterogeneous identity.

Historic Droughts. Natural Environment Research Council, 2014-18

This project is developing a cross-disciplinary understanding of past droughts within the UK with a view to improving their management in the future. Lancaster’s role in this is using GIS and corpus linguistics to look at past droughts.

Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS & Places. European Research Council, 2012-1Digital26
A project that is developing methodologies
to handle the use of texts within GIS and
applying them to topics ranging from Lake District literature to c19th social history


Corpus Approaches to Social Science. Economic and Social Research Council, 2013-18

This centre is bringing corpus approaches to a wide range of topics from climate change to hate speech. Our sub-project is looking at media representations of poverty.

Visualizing Spatial Experience in the Holocaust. National Endowment for the Humanities. 2016-17

A project that uses DH approaches to study and map the spatial experience of the Nazis and their victims

Newspapers, poverty and long-term change. A corpus analysis of five centuries of texts. Newby Trust, 2014-16

This project uses some of the very large corpora that we have to look at how poverty has been represented historically in the print media.

Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1500-1800: A digital framework for multi-lateral collaboration on Europe‘s intellectual history. COST, 2014-17republicofletters

This COST Action is envisaging a transnational digital infrastructure capable of reassembling and analysing scattered digital collections of early modern European correspondence.

Streets of Mourning and Community Memory in Lancaster. Heritage Lottery Fund, 2015-16

StreetscloseupheroA project that is creating a community memory of the 1,055 “Men of Lancaster who gave their lives in the Great War”


Other projects that have developed web resources include:

Mapping the Lakes: A literary GIS. British Academy

A pilot project that used two early accounts of journeys around the Lake District to explore what GIS has to offer to our understanding of literary texts.


Troubled Geographies: A spatial history of religion and society in Ireland. AHRC/ESRC

This site acts as a companion to the book of the same name. It uses GIS technology and census data to explore long-term change in Ireland’s social geograhies

The Historical GIS Research Network. ESRC

Acted as a focus for Historical GIS Research. The site still contains lists of HGIS resources and a bibliography.