History from below in 3D: Digital Approaches to the History of Carceral Institutions

AHA Session 236
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Diplomat Ballroom (Omni Shoreham, West Lobby)
Seth Denbo, American Historical Association
The Cornice and the Arcade: Re-viewing an 18th-Century Institution through Virtual 3-D Reconstruction
Susannah R. Ottaway, Carleton College; Austin Mason, Boston College
The History of Crime in Three Dimensions
Tim Hitchcock, University of Sussex
Building Bentham’s Panopticon
Zoe Alker, University of Liverpool

Session Abstract

Using computational tools to create virtual reconstructions of the built environment is one of the most exciting areas of digital scholarship in history. Three-dimensional models allow us to understand the spaces in which people interacted in much more complex ways, and to take new approaches to existing questions in our discipline. This panel focuses on our understanding of eighteenth-century Britain, an understanding drawn necessarily from two-dimensional texts. Using three-dimensional models to explore the design and architecture of institutions such as courtrooms, workhouses, and prisons can tell us about the experience and meaning of state authority and class relations. Each of the papers explores a different aspect of the penal and poor law institutions that helped to shape the ways that classes interacted in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as well as how we understand the roles of similar institutions in modern society. The session will provide an opportunity to discuss the use of 3D reconstruction as a methodology for creating historical knowledge.
See more of: AHA Sessions