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Ian Gregory (Co-Director: 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: History)

I am Chair and Co-Director of Digital Humanities at Lancaster University. One of my main interest is developing and applying technologies for Humanities, and my primary research area is Spatial Humanities. My main focus is investigating different aspects of space, place and time using a range of technologies, including GIS, NLP, Machine Learning and Corpus Linguistics’ approaches. Another of my specialities is Mexican Early Colonial Historical Archaeology. I am the PI of the internationally funded projects ‘Digging into Early Colonial Mexico: A large-scale computational analysis of 16th-century historical sources’ (T-AP/ESRC); and ‘Unlocking the Colonial Archive: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Indigenous and Spanish American Historical Collections’ (AHRC/NEH). I am also a collaborator and Co-I of multiple Spatial Humanities projects. I have edited and contributed to a diversity of 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.


Maxine Bailey (PhD Student: History)

I am a part-time PhD researcher, exploring the potential of digital technologies to look at the practice of sacred historic graffiti from an archaeological perspective. I am interested in photography as an archival medium, spatial theory, material culture studies, contemporary archaeology and archaeological theory, and have been particularly inspired by such post-processual luminaries as Michael Shanks and Christopher Tilley to consider how archaeology may be approached creatively, and how aspects of art and archaeology may intersect. Past projects have included a exploration on the archaeological significance of footprints, and how a photograph may be analogous to an archaeological context, sealing the archaeological evidence within a layer of time.


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.


Katherine Bellamy (PhD Student: History)

I am a History PhD student at Lancaster University, researching the altepetl, an indigenous geopolitical unit, in Central Mexico between the Late Postclassic (1325-1521) and the Early Colonial periods (1521-1585). This research focuses on representations of space, place and landscape, drawing on a variety of archaeological and historical information, including the work being produced as part of the Digging into Early Colonial Mexico project. More broadly, my research interests lie in the application of Digital Humanities methods for historical study, with a particular focus on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


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. My research won was awarded the 2018 The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship in Nineteenth-Century Media.


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:


Jonathan Culpeper (Department of Linguistics & English Language)

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.


Chris 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.


Fiona Edmonds (Department of History)

I am a historian of medieval Britain and Ireland, with research interests ranging from the sixth century to the twelfth. My work knows no borders, focusing on maritime connections and now-lost kingdoms. Particular areas of interest are the Irish Sea region in the Viking Age, and ‘Middle Britain’ (northern England and southern Scotland) prior to the Anglo-Scottish border. My monograph investigates links between the kingdom of Northumbria and the Gaelic-speaking world, and I have also worked on connections between Northumbria, Strathclyde and Wales. I have been involved in funded projects on Furness Abbey’s links across the Irish Sea and contacts between Britain and Brittany. I am interested in interdisciplinary work, for example combining historical and linguistic evidence through the study of names, and deploying GIS to investigate past landscapes. I am the Director of the Regional Heritage Centre.


Clare Egan (Department of English and Creative Writing)

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.


Hervin Fernandez Aceves (Department of History)

My research interests lie in the intersection of relational sociology, Mediterranean history and medieval studies. I have refined new methodologies based on prosopography, diplomatics and digital humanities. My forthcoming monograph draws on my doctoral research to illustrate and reassess the often overlooked role of the Italo-Norman upper aristocracy, where I explain the shifting composition of the nobility in southern Italy and offer a new understanding of how territorial leaderships operated under the Sicilian kingdom. I am currently working on medieval Sardinia and its autochthonous ruling classes.


Andrew Hardie (Department of Linguistics & English Language) 

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.


Duncan Hay (Department of English and Creative Writing)

Duncan Hay is a Research Associate on the Chronotopic Cartographies project. His PhD research focused on the writing of the poet and essayist Iain Sinclair, reading his work through the theoretical articulations of space, time, and literary form as elaborated by Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project and elsewhere. However, he has pursued a parallel career in web development, and before coming to Lancaster worked on a number of web mapping and digital humanities projects at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London.

Recent projects have included Survey of London Whitechapel, an interactive map designed to facilitate the co-production of the histories of East London; Tales of the Park, an interactive, locative game designed to explore how chatbots and storytelling techniques might help people better understand privacy issues around ‘Internet of Things’ technologies; and the forthcoming ‘Memory Map’ of the Jewish East End, a collaboration with the artist and writer Rachel Lichtenstein.


Rebecca Hutcheon (Department of English and Creative Writing)

I am a Research Assistant 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).


Raquel Liceras Garrido (Research Associate: Department of History)

I am a Research Associate on ‘Digging into Early Colonial Mexico project at Lancaster University with a background in archaeology, especially concerning GIS and landscape. My research interests are in the use of computer applications in Spatial Humanities, particularly how to translate information from written sources and historical documents into spatial data that enable us to approach well-known historical episodes from a different perspective and contribute to the historical narrative.


Jonathan Masters (PhD Student: Department of History)

My research examines the social and economic development of medieval Lancashire from the evidence of increasing agroeconomic activity and its impact on the coastal and lowland landscape of south west Lancashire during the period 1150 to 1550. This study draws on the interpretation of minor place-names recorded in title deeds as evidence of significant change in landscape through socio-economic practice. My approach uses GIS to map the locations of minor place-names and features of the historic landscape to reveal this development. My research is funded by the ESRC on a CASE studentship in collaboration with Lancashire County Archives.


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.


Murray Seccombe (PhD Student: Department of History)

I am a part-time PhD student in the Dept of History, researching early modern road administration (c. 1550-1800 in terms of spatial awareness, connectivity, and the politics of local governance. The case study area is the South Pennines, centred on the parish of Halifax, a centre of the woollen cloth industry. I am using GIS techniques to map different types of activity and tease out the strategies involved. The source data include the exceptional series of 6,000 highway presentments to the Wakefield manor court (17th century), taxation records, and highway surveyor and turnpike trust records (18th century) from 40 townships across the West Riding and East Lancashire.


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’.


Ben Wills-Eve (PhD Student: Department of History)

I am a History PhD student at Lancaster University investigating both the history of automation online (i.e. the rise of algorithms and bots and its societal implications), and the ways in which such automation is affecting the collection, curation and dissemination of history, archaeology and cultural heritage. This involves everything from examining the roles of robots in conserving knowledge on Wikipedia to the algorithmic creation of fake cultural artefacts for sale online. I completed my MA in the Archaeology of Death and Memory at the University of Chester and am particularly interested in how the public perceives and consumes historical and archaeological information. I also work with the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) as a public member, helping to train health researchers in how best to involve the public in their work.

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)

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.


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

Passed 2017.

My research project was 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 investigated 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 was: ‘how are places represented in British public discourse and how has this changed over time?’ My research won was awarded the 2016 The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship in Nineteenth-Century Media.


Catherine Porter (Department of Geography, University of Hull) 

I am a research fellow in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University, Belfast. 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.


Joanne Taylor (Department of History, University of Manchester)

I am now a Presidential Academic Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester. From 2015-18 I was the Senior Research Associate on the Leverhulme-funded project Geospatial Innovation in the Digital Humanities in the DH Hub at Lancaster. My 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. 

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