On Thursday, the Scholars’ Lab will have the pleasure of hosting Dr. Shawn Graham of Carleton University to talk about simulation and agent-based modeling in the humanities–and a bit about his life as a digital humanist. He has provided a preview of part one of his talk.
Practical Necromancy: Simulation and Agent Based Modeling in the Humanities
Dr. Shawn Graham Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, Department of History Carleton University
Raising the dead presents certain difficulties, but computation suggests a way forward. In Practical Necromancy, Dr. Graham discusses the use of agent based simulations to understand aspects of Greco-Roman antiquity, its perils and potentials, and how all of this fits into a worldview informed by the digital humanities.
Shawn Graham is a Roman archaeologist by training, and a digital humanist by accident. After many years in the academic wilderness, where he did everything from teaching high school, to starting up some heritage-based businesses, to hunkering down in the trenches of for-profit online education, he discovered that his interests in games for learning and teaching, and simulation more generally, had turned him into a Digital Humanist. He escaped to Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, shortly thereafter, which also happens to be in his home town.
His work surveys the ways new media are used to construct cultural heritage knowledge, from the perspectives of practicing archaeologists, historians, and the wider public. It’s an exploration of how ‘historical consciousness’ informs, and is formed by, digital media. He teaches primarily historical methods and digital history at all levels, including a graduate seminar in public history/digital history. In that class, the final project involves using various augmented reality platforms for public storytelling. Currently he is teaching a third year seminar on video games as historical artefacts which form a digital historical consciousness; the final project is the ‘perfect video game for expressing history, giving a voice to the voicelss’. His students blog at http://3812.graeworks.net and he would love to have your comments on their work.