Ian Gregory, Co-Director (Department of History)

I am a geographer by training and have spent much of my career working applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to historical research, a field that has become known as Historical GIS. As a result of the growth of Digital Humanities, I have become particularly interested in using GIS with texts as well as the more traditional quantitative sources. This has been the subject of a number of successful grant applications include the European Research Council grant Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS, Places project. For much more on my research see my personal website.

Patricia Murrieta-Flores, Co-Director (Department of History)

I am originally an archaeologist. My interest lies in the application of technologies for Humanities and my primary research area is the Spatial Humanities. My main focus is the investigation of different aspects of space, place and time using a range of technologies including GIS, NLP, Machine Learning and Corpus Linguistics approaches. I am PI on the Transatlantic Platform (T-AP) funded project ‘Digging into Early Colonial Mexico: A large-scale computational analysis of 16th century historical sources’, and also collaborator and Co-I in multiple projects funded by the ERC, ESRC, AHRC, HERA, and the Paul Mellon Centre among others. I have edited and contributed to multiple books on Digital Humanities, Cultural Heritage, the use of GIS and other technologies in Archaeology, History, and Literature, and I’ve published multiple articles exploring theories and methodologies related to space and place. I’m always up for a good chat about collaboration so contact me anytime.

Helen Baker (Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science)

I have been Newby Research Fellow in CASS since 2014. My research focuses on the ways in which large corpora can be used in the study of early modern history. I am particularly interested in how social outsiders of the period were perceived and have published research about early modern prostitution and homosexual men. I completed my PhD in Russian History at the University of Leeds. My thesis examined popular reactions to the Khodynka disaster, a stampede which took place during the coronation celebrations of Nicholas II in 1896.

Sally Bushell (Department of English Literature & Creative Writing)

My research specialism is in Nineteenth Century Literature (Romantic and Victorian) with particular interests in poetry and textual process. I am interested in the relationship of place, space and poetry as embodied in the manuscript object. In 2007 I explored such ideas in her own research through an AHRC funded collaborative project with The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. This project is primarily concerned with putting the manuscripts online in an accessible form. Click here for more details. My current research is on literary mapping, exploring the relationship between reading and mapping in fictional works and between visual and verbal meaning in literature.

James Butler (Department of English Literature & Creative Writing)


I am a Research Associate on the Chronotopic Cartographies  project, with a background in psycholinguistics – especially concerning name formation, development, and cognition. My previous work on the Geospatial Innovations project involved the design of a custom gazetteer, in order to track spatial reference and relationships in greater detail. Other prior work at Lancaster University has included the Lakescraft Project, which formed part of a wider research investigation into adapting literary material into educational-led gaming formats.

Ruth Byrne, PhD Student (Departments of History and Linguistics & English Language) 


My research explores the use of corpus linguistics (the machine-assisted analysis of language in very large bodies of text) as a means of approaching historical ‘Big Data’. A historian by training, I’m interested in how Corpus Linguistics can help us to digest the ever-growing digital archive.  More specifically, I look at attitudes towards immigrants and refugees in nineteenth century newspapers. My PhD is ESRC-funded and conducted in collaboration with the British Library, London. Click here for a video summary of my current research.

Keith Cheverst (School of Computing & Communications) 


My research over the last decade has focused on exploring the obdurate problems associated with the user-centred design of interactive systems (typically systems that utilise mobile and/or ubicomp technologies and incorporate aspects of Locative media) in complex or semi-wild settings and the deployment and longitudinal study of these systems in order to gain insights into issues of user adoption and appropriation. Current projects include ‘SHARC’ which is supporting the co-design of technology for the Shared Curation of local history in a rural community (for more details please visit:

Jonathon Culpeper (Department of Linguistics & English Language) 3644-150x150

My research concentrates on three main areas: pragmatics, stylistics, and the history of English.  I have published numerous papers in the area of historical corpus linguistics, often with a historical pragmatics slant. Corpus Linguistics has had a dramatic impact on the nature of historical language studies.  I collaborated with Prof. Merja Kytö in the construction of a corpus of speech-related Early Modern English texts. The Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760 stands at approximately 1.2 million words and contains the following text-types: trial proceedings, witness depositions, play-texts, dialogue in prose fiction, didactic dialogues .The corpus is available to the academic community for free (via the Oxford Text Archive or the ICAME disk).

Carmen Dayrell Gomes Da Costa (Department of Linguistics & English Language) 


My main research interests relate to the use of corpus linguistics methodologies to study language production, from various perspectives and in different settings. I first investigated potential differences (and similarities) between lexical patterning in translated and non-translated texts of the same language. My attention then turned to English academic writing and I examined features of abstracts written in English by Brazilian graduate students from various disciplines. My current research focuses on the discourse of climate change in media coverage. Our primary purpose is to investigate how the issue has been framed across Britain and Brazil in the past decade.

Christopher Donaldson (Department of History)


 My research is primarily concerned with 18th- and 19th-century cultural and environmental history, with a specific emphasis on the history of the English Lake District. I am also especially interested in travel writing and topographical literature. My current research projects include Geospatial Innovation in the Digital Humanities: A Deep Map of the English Lake District (2015-2018), which is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. In addition, I co-edit the Digital Forum for the Journal of Victorian Culture.

Clare Egan (Department of English Literature & Creative Writing)1cf77dd0-e126-493a-9671-21caf706bf51

My research interests lie in the drama and performance of medieval and early modern England with a particular focus on records of libel offences in the early seventeenth century for their uses of performance in community conflict. I am particularly interested in the complex uses that libels made of space and place and this has included using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map libel performances in their contemporary landscape. I have also recently been involved in a project locating manuscript sources relating to early modern environmental problems for the study of early ecocriticism.

Andrew Hardie (Department of Linguistics & English Language) andrew

My major specialism is corpus linguistics – specifically, the methodology of corpus linguistics, and how it can be applied to different areas of study in linguistics and beyond. I am currently working on applications of corpus methods in the social sciences and humanities. I am also very interested in the use of corpus-based methods to study languages other than English, especially the languages of Asia, with an especial focus on issues in descriptive and theoretical grammar.

Rebecca Hutcheon (Department of English Literature & Creative Writing)

I am a Research Assistance on the AHRC-funded Chronotopic Cartography project. My research specialism is in Nineteenth Century literature, with a specific focus on fin-de-siècle prose and spatial theory. My research to date has centred around George Gissing’s geographical imagination, which forms the topic of my first monograph. My other work centres around walking and the Romantic South West, and how digital technologies can shape perception of place (real and literary).

Amelia Joulain-Jay PhD Student (Departments of Linguistics & English Language and History) 


My research project is part of the (ERC-funded) Spatial Humanities project which aims to show that Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can prove useful to the analysis of qualitative data, for the benefit of disciplines in the Humanities. I will be investigating nineteenth-century newspapers using Corpus Linguistics methods and GIS with a goal to making a contribution to the field of History. The main research question is: ‘how are places represented in British public discourse and how has this changed over time?’

Masud Khokhar (Lancaster University Library)

I am the Assistant Director: Digital Innovation and Research Services in the Library with a keen interest in all things digital. My responsibilities include services in Open Access publishing, Research Data Management, Citation Analysis, Unique and Distinctive Collections, and all Library’s Digital systems. I am project director for Lancaster University’s role in Jisc Research Data Shared Service, Data Management Administration Online, and Digital Research stream of Digital Lancaster. Previously, I was project lead for a Jisc Open Access pathfinder project and the innovative Jolt the Library project. I have worked nationally and internationally on the impact of digital innovation and leadership in Academic Libraries, specifically through Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and International Group of Ex Libris Users (IGeLU).

Corinna Peniston-Bird (Department of History) 

My work on oral testimonies is centred on the relationship between memories and cultural representations. I am currently working on gendered commemoration, with a particular focus on British war memorials. My interest in untraditional source materials has recently been reflected in a jointly edited collection with Dr Sarah Barber entitled History Beyond the Text: A Guide to the Use of Non-Traditional Sources by Historians (London: Routledge, 2008) which introduces research students to methodologies and theories of how to engage with sources ranging from the visual (photographs, film) to the oral (personal testimony), to the material.

James Perry PhD Student (Department of History)


My current research interests surround the use of digital research methods to explore big data, with a particular focus upon Full Count Datasets. Primarily my research interests concern the utilisation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Corpus Linguistic software to explore historical events, issues, and topics with new data. A wider research interest is in the construction, maintenance, and dissemination of ‘Big Data’ within the discipline of history, including the development of Linked Micro Census Data with Vital Records. A major theme within my research concerns the composition and behaviour of foreign-born migrants in England and Wales during the period 1851-1911.

Paul Rayson (School of Computing & Communications)


I am director of the UCREL research centre and a Reader in the School of Computing and Communications, in the Infolab21 building at Lancaster University in Lancaster, UK. A long term focus of my work is the application of semantic-based NLP in extreme circumstances where language is noisy e.g. in historical, learner, speech, email, txt and other CMC varieties. My applied research is in the areas of online child protection, cyber security, learner dictionaries, and text mining of historical corpora and annual financial reports. I am a co-investigator of the five-year ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) which is designed to bring the corpus approach to bear on a range of social sciences. I’m also a member of the multidisciplinary centre Security Lancaster and the Data Science Institute.

Alexander Reinhold, PhD Student (School of Computing & Communications and Department of History)


 I am a PhD candidate in the ‘Geospatial Innovations’ project, with an aim to develop a prototype deep map that allows a range of user-groups to gain new understandings of the importance of space and place to Lake District heritage. My primary interests are in the use of computer applications in archaeology for the purpose of digital documentation of heritage sites and the dissemination of data to the public. My background is in the documentation of heritage sites with 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry, and the development of apps for museum exhibits and GIS applications for large datasets.

Robert Smail (Lancaster Environment Centre)

My research background is in the history of science, where I have a particular interest in environmental history and scientific research conducted in extreme mountain regions. I am currently working on a ‘vegetation history of the Lake District’. The project uses historical texts and plant records alongside geographical information systems (GIS) to uncover vegetation change in the region over the past three hundred years.

Deborah Sutton (Department of History)

I am Senior Lecturer in South Asian History and am interested in urban, religious and material histories in nineteenth- and twentieth-century India. I am currently working on the informal urban occupation of heritage in Delhi during the twentieth century. I am PI on an AHRC Research Network ‘Urban Heritage and the Digital Humanities in India’.

Joanna Taylor (Department of History)


 I am the Senior Research Associate on the Leverhulme-funded project Geospatial Innovation in the Digital HumanitiesMy research specialism is nineteenth-century literature and culture, particularly Romantic poetry. I am especially interested in how texts from this era engage with issues around space and place, including imaginary space, cartography and walking, and the ways in which digital techniques can facilitate the discussion, presentation and complication of humanities study. 

Affiliates and former colleagues:

Leif Isaksen (University of Exeter)

I am Professor in Digital Humanities at the University of Exeter. My research interests lie in two distant but related fields: the development of geographic thought and representation in Antiquity, and the emerging role of the Web as a transformational medium for communicating and connecting complex information. For the former I have undertaken theoretical and digital analyses of specific documents from Antiquity, including the Geographike Hyphegesis of Claudius Ptolemy and the Roman Itineraries. In the latter I apply Web-based (and Linked Open Data) technologies to annotate, connect and revisualize geographic aspects of the past through its textual and material culture, most notably as Director of the Pelagios  Project. I am heavily engaged with the Digital Humanities community worldwide as a member of the Executive Committee of the European Association for the Digital Humanities (EADH) and as Treasurer of the International Society for the History of the Map. I am also investigating a hilltop enclosure in Forres, Scotland.

Paul Atkinson (University of Liverpool)paul

I am a Research Associate (Health Services Research) at the University of Liverpool. I am a social and cultural historian with an interest in numerical techniques. I was employed on the ERC-funded Spatial Humanities project from 2014 to 2016. I study influences on infant mortality in nineteenth-century England and Wales. My work uses geographical information systems (GIS) to examine patterns in Victorian statistics. I also use corpus linguistics to explore large corpora of digitised Victorian documents such as the British Library Nineteenth Century Newspapers collection.

Catherine Porter (Department of Geography, University of Hull) cat

I am a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Hull. Prior to this I was a researcher on the EPSRC funded SHARC project based in Computing and Communications at Lancaster University and a Research Associate on the European Research Council (ERC) project Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS & Places’. My research interests involve the application of geospatial and corpus linguistic techniques in human geography and the digital humanities.  This includes the temporal and spatial investigation of nineteenth and early twentieth century corpora such as official medical reports, newspapers, and related datasets.

I also have a particular interest in historical geography, the history of cartography, ‘place’, and how early maps can be interrogated using quantitative techniques.