SPATIAL HUMANITIES / الإنسانيات المكانية
NYU Abu Dhabi  AHC-AD 141 Spring 2017
Dr. David Joseph Wrisley  @DJWrisley
Office: A6 195
Office hours Tu 930-1130, A6 195, or by appt

Class meeting time and place: TuTh 1150-105, C2 W006.

Counts as an Interactive Media elective.

Download course flyer.



This course explores making digital maps and 3d models about the human cultural record, in both contemporary and historical contexts.  The course has a regional focus and will be organized around specific case studies: Abu Dhabi & the UAE, the historical Arabian peninsula and ancient Egyptian archeology. Alongside theoretical readings about the (digital) spatial turn in the humanities, students will explore conceptual and technical elements of digital content building. Students will explore modeling, representing and analyzing location-based phenomena in order to tell stories in space, time and dimension. We will learn how to map data with a locational dimension, while doing research within the city of Abu Dhabi on urban cosmopolitanism.  We will manipulate digitized maps of the general area of the Arabian Peninsula to explore how the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the UAE have been represented in historical cartography. Lastly, we will explore some of the many z-axis representations that have been created about ancient Egyptian civilization to reflect on the use of 3d for the study material culture and historical built space.  Students interested in literature, history, geography, Arab Crossroads Studies, as well as Interactive Media and the social sciences will benefit from this course.

This course includes discussion and hands on lab.   Course work will be carried out in individual student web hosting sites, and the course involves both individual and group work. There is no final paper in this course, nor is there an exam.  All writing is public and open in research blog format.  There are no prerequisite technical skills needed for this course, however, students will learn some software and platforms and some basic coding and customization. Curiosity and a willingness to engage with technology will be essential.

This syllabus is provided with a CC BY-SA-NC 4.0 International license.  If you reuse it, in whole or in part, please cite it. 

NYU Abu Dhabi. (2017). AHC-AD 141: Spatial Humanities course syllabus. Abu Dhabi, UAE: David Joseph Wrisley.