Spatial knowledge representation in the digital humanities

Project description

The Digital Humanities use computational methods in the study of history, literature, and other disciplines in the humanities. Within this general area there has been a particular recent focus on spatial information leading to the identification of The Spatial Humanities. Much work here uses GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to help analyse data from historical or literary sources. A significant challenge is that GIS originated in engineering and scientific disciplines and hence is very poorly equipped to handle the vague, uncertain, and metaphorical forms of spatial description that are commonplace in the humanities. Within Artificial Intelligence the representation of qualitative spatial information through formal logic is a well-established technique that is very largely unexplored in the Digital Humanities.

This project will focus on the Computer Science aspects of using this type of logic-based spatial representation in the humanities. Specific questions include: What systems of spatial relations are most relevant to the humanities? Can logical reasoning effectively complement GIS methods in the humanities? How can these techniques be made accessible to scholars in the digital humanities?

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/ or a Master's degree in a relevant subject. We also recognise relevant industrial and academic experience.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section of your application, the name of the PhD you wish to apply for is 'Spatial knowledge representation in the digital humanities' as well as Dr John Stell as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section, please state 'School of Computing Funded Studentships' as your sponsor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.  All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.