Session 10

Friday 14:00 - 15:30

High Tor 3

Chair: Jamie McLaughlin

Crime and punishment in three dimensions, 1780-1900.

  • Zoe Alker,
  • Tim Hitchcock

University of Liverpool

This paper seeks to rebuild, in the imagination, the Old Bailey and the Panopticon prison. 3D digital modelling software, in combination with virtual reality hardware and audio recordings, has enabled us to produce an immersive experience of the court and prison. In the process of modelling these carceral spaces, this paper will develop a new understanding of the physicalities of trial and punishment. By combining extant digital archives, with both textual and architectural evidence, this paper will facilitate a new spatial analysis of the experience of trial and punishment in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. How did the defendant and prisoner experience the new model adversarial trial, and Panopticon prison, had it been built? By using traditional sources (including maps, plans, prints and text) in new ways - by interrogating the relationships between space, sound and text - the high drama and banality of crime and punishment will be recreated.

This study builds on two leading crime history archives: Old
Bailey Online (AHRC) and Digital Panopticon (AHRC). But in
addition, it incorporates a broad range of textual sources
including court transcripts, prison registers, and longitudinal life
narratives of criminals tried and punished in London’s courts, alongside a range of maps, plans and contemporary images. By mapping out the new relationships between sources in very different formats (maps and texts, images and collective life narratives), this paper seeks to exemplify a new ‘three dimensional’ approach to criminal justice history.

Digital visualization of transnationalism: a case study of Hong Kong migrants in Canada during the handover of Hong Kong period

  • Sheng Zhang

Human migration is a global phenomenon due to the transition of policy, economy, society, and individual perspectives. As well, the international migration can play an important role in both regional and global transition. Hong Kong people have gone through a mass migration wave to western countries in 1980s and 1990s, during the period of the handover of Hong Kong, particularly in Canada. The purpose of this research is to map a migration wave from Hong Kong to Canada and back to Hong Kong during the crucial moment of Britain’s 1997 handover of political control of Hong Kong to China, especially during 1984 (when the decision was made) and 1997 (the handover approached), and to gain insight into the factors that reflect these trends of migration. The project involves applying digital technology approach, which is QGIS technology, to capture the nodal Hong Kong migrant patterns in Canada by destinations, gender, age group, and social class. Along with the concepts, the strong relationship between transnational space, changing institutions, cultural identity values and conflicts, and transition of affective sense of place that impacts on the motivations and practices of Hong Kong migrants will be addressed. This study is part of a body of research on transnational migration that across the nation border, which visualizes relationship networks between the space of Hong Kong and Canada, and spatial distribution of immigration from large-scale data.


Human Rights 3D: A Social Justice Platform for Historical Recovery, Reconstruction & Reconciliation in Digital Humanities

  • Angel Nieves

Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, USA

Over the past decade, scholars and community leaders have experimented with the use of
new digital technologies to tell the history of the anti-apartheid movement in South
Africa. Technologies now at our disposal allow us to layer victim testimony in
hypertexts using multiple tools for mapping, text mining, and 3D visualizations. Digital
humanities may also help analyze documentation so as to reconstruct and recover an
alternative historical narrative in the face of conventional wisdom or officializing
histories. The layering of the many narratives also helps lay bare the messiness of
archive making, the methodologies of digital ethnography, and, in particular, the
endangered nature of those archives across South Africa related to the Soweto Uprisings
of June 1976. The Soweto Historical GIS Project’s Social Justice History Platform is a
software platform designed to represent geographic and spatial data within an enhanced
interface designed to contextualize locations and objects alongside the primary source
documents that provide their historical narrative. As a 3D and virtual reality enabled
platform (built atop the Unity engine), the Social Justice History Platform is able to
represent both 2D geospatial information (such as maps, photographs, and records) and
3D representations of landscapes, locations, and 3D models of historical buildings and
objects. The platform also lets users explore changes to those locations or objects over
the course of a defined timeline of its history, allowing for an interactive view that lets
users step backward or forward through a location’s changes over time. This unique
timeline runs along two axes which we call the “macro-history” (more specific timelines
including the stories of relevant events outside the scope of the 3D view, etc.), along with
a second axis, a series of collapsible vertical timelines, which we call the “micro-history”
(the most prominent changes to the physical structure of a location over time).