Vision has influenced many important historical decisions, whether literally – what people could or could not see – or metaphorically, what people imagined or wanted to believe. This lecture examines the crucial role of vision at two junctures in American history. It reveals how antebellum entrepreneurs’ vision of industrial greatness fell afoul of geographical reality, and how General Robert E. Lee’s view of the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg shaped his command decisions. Both studies are built around the visual methodology of historical GIS.
Anne Kelly Knowles, Professor of Geography, Middlebury College, has led historians and historical geographers in using Geographic Information Systems to study the past. The University of Saskatchewan’s Department of History and Historical GIS Lab were honoured to host Dr. Knowles for the Bilson Lecture in early October 2014.
Rebecca J. Rosen, “Interactive Gettysburg: Using Modern Mapping Tools for a New Look at the Historical Battle,” The Atlantic, July 1, 2013.
Anne Kelly Knowles, Tim Cole, and Alberto Giordano, eds., Geographies of the Holocaust (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014).
Anne Kelly Knowles, Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868 (Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2012).
Anne Kelly Knowles, ed., Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History (Redlands: ESRI Press, 2002).
Anne Kelly Knowles and Amy Hillier ed., Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship (Redlands: ESRI Press, 2008).
Thanks to Jon Bath at the Humanities and Fine Arts Digital Research Centre for editing the video and presentation slides together and to Geoff Cunfer for organizing the Bilson Lecture.