Spatial Humanities

The Spatial Humanities programme is led by Dr Benjamin Vis (University of Kent). It runs on four consecutive days (5-8th of May) and is divided into two parts. Students may register for both parts or for part 1 or part 2 only.

Spatialising the Humanities (Spatial Humanities 1) (venue: Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury)

Using examples from past, present, and future urban spaces this two-day workshop will engage with recent cross-disciplinary developments in spatial thought and methods, and introduce a variety of Humanities research through a spatial lens.


  • Morning: Streets and Linear Space
    • Leader: Prof. Ray Laurence (Classics, Kent)
    • Dr Kerstin Sailer (Bartlett, UCL)
  • Afternoon: Performance and Production of Space
    • Dr Catherine Richardson (English, Kent)
    • Dr Amanda Flather (History, Essex)
  • Late afternoon: Guest contributions, including Stuart Dunn (KCL), complementing the workshop themes and the capturing the variation of spatial humanities


  • Morning: Virtual Spaces
    • Leader: Dr Aylish Wood (Arts, Kent)
  • Afternoon: Bounded Space
    • Leader: Dr Benjamin Vis (Digital Humanities, Kent)
  • Closing Session: Haptic Space
    • Leader: Dr Eleanor Betts (Classics, Open University)
      Moving beyond the primacy of vision, this final session considers sensory experience of space. The discussion will be complemented by a technical demonstration of haptic interaction with 3D models by Dr Stephen Laycock (UEA, Computing)

GIS in the Humanities (Spatial Humanities 2) (venue: University of Kent, Canterbury)

  • Led by Benjamin Vis (Kent) with Elton Barker (Open University), Liz Jones (UCL), Ian Gregory (Lancaster), Andrew Newing (Leeds).
  • The two-day workshop will introduce students to the theory and practice of studying space in the Humanities with the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Below is a provisional list of themed sessions and practicals.


  1. Principles of GIS
  2. Practical: data, look and feel of making maps in GIS
  3. Different software platforms and their primary uses
  4. Data sources: Digimap and other free data
  5. Enhanced maps: introducing spatial statistics and analysis
  6. Have a go: annotating and adding data in Google Maps
  7. Time for specific PhD research project/data queries


  1. Getting GPS data in a GIS
  2. Digitising and georeferencing maps: Aerial Photography, historical maps
  3. Historical and Textual GIS
  4. Historical network GIS
  5. Conceptual mapping from archaeological evidence
  6. Think creatively about your research: making maps or work on your own data and questions