SPATIAL HISTORY: Lecture + Workshop


Mapping the Village
Robert Chambers, Rajesh Tandon, and the Participatory Map as a Technology for Decentralizing Land Tenure, 1968-1990
Thursday, May 14th | 11AM-1 PM | Voorhies 126
From the 1980s forward, participatory maps—drawn by a dozen to two hundred members of a village—became a major tool of interventions in land use governance in India and in certain communities in development economics. This talk traces the making of the participatory map as a technology from its roots in socialist land planning in Britain, to its perfection and evolution in the communities of indigenous and south Asian sovereignty activists looking for an alternative to land-title registration and state-managed cadasters. The successes of the participatory map, as well as it ultimate limits and cooption, will be considered.
Introducing Paper Machines

A tool for distant reading of many electronic

texts to supplement analog, old-fashioned history
Friday, May 15th | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | ModLab
Historical scholars, with their attention to period, temporality, and agency, can benefit from digital tools. Many digital humanities tools have been devised, often with the purposes of better reading in the literary humanities. Therefore historians need special tools designed to identify common word choices, spatial themes, and chronology. This workshop is designed to introduce scholars of history to Paper Machines, a toolkit designed to help historians confirmtheir chronology using online sources to prepare a finding aid of a larger, unread corpus of texts that the scholar is aware of. It is theorized that this “distant reading” operates as a useful supplement analog, old-fashioned readings inthe archives.  Examples will be shown from ongoing work on the chronology and history of the World Bank.
Jo Guldi is an Assistant Professor in the History of Britain and its Empire at Brown, where she teaches courses related to capitalism, empire, land use, and computation. Her first book, Roads to Power: Britain Invents theInfrastructure State, was published by Harvard in 2012. Born in Dallas, Texas, she received an AB from Harvard University, and then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge before completing her PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley, after which she continued on to postdocs at the University of Chicago and the Harvard Society
of Fellows.
Please RSVP for both events to Thank you!