Project Directors

Diane Favro
DIANE FAVRO is a professor Architecture and Urban Design and former president of the Society of Architectural Historians. She is the author of The Urban Image of Augustan Rome, as well as numerous articles on ancient architecture and urban design, the pedagogy of architectural history, and the impact of real-time simulations of historic environments on disciplinary inquiries.  She headed the scientific committees for the UCLA Cultural VR Lab, which developed virtual reality models of historic environments for research and education, including the internationally acknowledged Rome Reborn Project. Currently, she is Director of the succeeding digital lab, the Experiential Technologies Center (ETC), which promotes the critical incorporation of new technologies into research and teaching as evident in the NEH-sponsored Digital Karnak project for which she is co-director, and the NEH Summer Institute Models of Ancient Rome. Professor Favro brings her expertise as an architectural/urban historian to projects in digital cultural mapping throughout history, as well as familiarity with the challenges and impact of large-scale interdisciplinary projects. She will direct the allocation of ETC facilities and staff for the proposed project, teach related courses (especially those dealing with the history of Rome and environs), and actively participate in the shaping of the digital cultural mapping program.

Todd Presner

TODD PRESNER is associate professor of Germanic Languages and Comparative Literature and past chair of UCLA’s faculty advisory committee for the Center for Digital Humanities.  He is the author of two books on German intellectual and visual history as well as the director of the MacArthur-funded digital media and learning project, HyperCities.  HyperCities is an interactive, map-based, collaborative authoring environment for exploring and learning about the cultural, architectural, and urban history of city spaces.  As a dynamic platform that links physical space with geo-temporal information, HyperCities allows uses to “go back in time,” trace family genealogies, and compose memories of urban spaces.  In 2008, HyperCities was awarded one of the first “Innovation” awards from the MacArthur Foundation in the field of Digital Media and Learning.  His current research and teaching focuses on the development of the geo-spatial web, augmented reality, issues of temporality and GIS, and the technical media that enable visualizations of complex city spaces. At UCLA, he directs a Mellon-sponsored initiative called “Digital Humanities and Media Studies,” which is charged with creating new intellectual tools, pedagogical and curricular practices, research methodologies, and disciplinary paradigms for the humanities in the 21st century.  He will co-organize the first-year faculty workshops, coordinate the Keck program with Wendrich, and teach special subject courses on Berlin and media theory using the HyperCities platform. 

Jan Reiff
JAN REIFF is associate professor of History and Statistics.  Her interests in cultural and conceptual mapping, geographic information systems, and the use of digital technologies in teaching reach back to her dissertation for which she mapped settlement and migration patterns in 19th century Seattle.  Her first book, Structuring the Past: the Use of Computers in History (1991), introduced historians to quantitative and geographic analysis and also shaped her next two projects: developing the database for an archeological dig at Tell Nimrin, Jordan, and co-editing with Helen Tanner, Dirk Hoerder, John Long, and Henry Dobyns an atlas published in 1995 by Macmillan entitled The Settling of North America. A project of the Newberry Library, the Encyclopedia of Chicago, which Reiff co-edited with James R. Grossman and Ann Durkin Keating, was published by the University of Chicago Press in its print form in 2004 and by the Chicago Historical Society in 2005 in its online version.  In the Keck DCM program, she will direct and teach the LA cluster courses as well as participate in the development of the two core courses. 

Willeke Wendrich
WILLEKE WENDRICH is associate professor of Egyptian Archaeology.  She is the Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE), an award-winning digital encyclopedia that has been supported by the NEH since 2005. She is also a Board member of Archaeoinformatics.org and a member of the Board of Governors for the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE).  From 2005-2008, she has served as the Faculty Director of the UCLA Digital Humanities Incubator Group (UDHIG), and from 2008 onwards she is a member of the core cabinet of the Institute of Digital Research and Education – Humanities, Arts and architecture, Social and Information Sciences (IDRE-HASIS), an organization that supports and encourages faculty to undertake large-scale, interdisciplinary, digital projects.  Her interest in Digital Cultural Mapping is born from the use of GIS in her archaeological project in the Fayum (Egypt), and the development of interactive maps for the UEE and the Digital Karnak Project. In Spring 2009 she will teach a Fiat Lux class, mapping the famous ancient Egyptian cemetery of  Sakkara, and in Winter 2010 and 2011 she will teach one of the core classes in the Keck Digital Cultural Mapping Program.


Associated Faculty and Staff

P. Jeffrey Brantingham
P. JEFFREY BRANTINGHAM is an associate professor of Anthropology.  His research interests include human foraging behavior in contemporary and archaeological settings, cultural evolution and crime ecology.  All of this work is tied together through questions of  how people adapt to an exploit complex spatial environments.  Dr. Brantingham uses both computational and mathematical models to understand how individual and group behavioral choices lead to pattern formation.   He directs the Tibet Paleolithic Project, which is investigating the processes of initial human colonization of the Tibet Plateau, and the UC Mathematical and Simulation Modeling of Crime (UC MaSC) project, which is a collaboration with UCLA Mathematicians, UCI Criminologists and the Los Angeles Police Department to study the spatial dynamics of crime hotspots in Los Angeles.  His recent publications include "A Statistical Model of Criminal Behavior" (M3AS, 2008), "Crime Pattern Formation from First Principles" (In Artificial Crime Analysis Systems, L. Liu and J. Eck eds, 2008) and "Measuring Forager Mobility" (Current Anthropology, 2006).  In the Keck program, Brantingham will teach classes on spatial modeling of human behavior and the spatial ecology of crime.

Aaron Burke
AARON BURKE is an assistant professor of the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and the Levant in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department at UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern archaeology from The University of Chicago in 2004. Since 1997 has participated in excavations in Israel, Egypt, and Turkey and since 2007 is co-director of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, a multi-disciplinary archaeological research project focused on the exploration of pre-modern Jaffa. His research interests are in the cultural and institutional foundations of ancient Israelite society, in particular through the exploration of the culture and institutions of the Amorites during the second millennium BC. He has authored a monograph on Middle Bronze Age fortifications strategies and a number of articles addressing his primary research interests.  In the Keck program, he will be teaching "Jerusalem the Holy City" (ANE 10W), which fulfills a Writing II GE requirement.

JOHN DAGENAIS is Professor of Medieval Spanish Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  He received his Ph.D. in Medieval Spanish Literature from the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1981.  His publications include The Ethics of Reading in Manuscript Culture: Glossing the "Libro de buen amor" (Princeton, 1994) and a special issue of the Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, co-edited with Margaret Greer: "Decolonizing the Middle Ages" (2000).  He has published articles, editions, translations and reviews on medieval Catalan, Latin, Castilian, Galician-Portuguese and Occitan literature.  

In 1995 he created a multimedia course website for undergraduate students studying medieval Spanish literature.  It uses an imaginary pilgrimage across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela in the year 1300 as a metaphor for the course.  The goal was to help contemporary students develop a concrete sense of the spaces and the rhythms of medieval life, so remote for their own, as an aid to a better understanding of medieval texts.  Students follow the stages of the pilgrimage on a map and study works of literature, music, art and architecture associated with each place.  As part of the work for the course, students create web pages concerning specific places or themes encountered along the route.  Part of his work this year will be updating and redesigning this course website. 

For eight years he has been working on a real-time virtual reality reconstruction of the Romanesque cathedral and town of Santiago de Compostela as it was at the time of its dedication in 1211.  Undergraduate students who travelled with Dagenais on summer travel study courses to Compostela helped in the creation of this model with projects documenting specific areas of the structure in detail.  This project is entering a second phase, with support from the government of Galicia.  For this phase, an international team of scholars from the U.S., Spain and Germany has been formed to work collaboratively on the project.

He recently completed, with co-authors John Williams and José Suárez Otero, reconstructions of three pre-Romanesque churches which stood on the site of the present day cathedral.  Both the Romanesque and the pre-Romanesque models will be ported to Google Earth so that users can follow the development of the site over time.

Leo Estrada
LEO ESTRADA is associate professor of Urban Planning.  He teaches GIS in a way that guides the students in discovering how to use GIS to answer urban land use questions on local and regional levels, with a focus on issues such as global climate change, population growth, urban sprawl, environmental hazards, and neighborhood demographic changes.  He will teach GIS and special interest courses in the Keck DCM program.

David Halle
DAVID HALLE is a professor of Sociology, who has an integrated research and educational project with a focus of the urbanization and sociology of Los Angeles and New York. In the Keck Digital Cultural Mapping program, he will teach a special subjects course titled "Urban Societies: Cities and Cultures in a Digital Age."

Chris Johanson
CHRIS JOHANSON is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics.  His research applies the tools and techniques of digital humanities and the analytical methodologies of Classics to social historical problems. He is currently developing a hybrid, geo-temporal publication entitled Spectacle in the Forum: Visualizing the Roman Aristocratic Funeral of the Middle Republic, which is a study of material and literary contexts set within a digital laboratory.  He is also working on an experiential “Walk with the Dead: a Funerary Cityscape of Ancient Rome” to appear in A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman World.

His work on the Roman world connects to a larger discussion on the evolution of scholarly tools and communication. In his role as an Associate Director of the UCLA Experiential Technologies Center, he has worked for or collaborated on cultural mapping projects set in Bolivia, Peru, Albania, Iceland, Spain, Italy, and Turkey.

Ioanna Kakoulli
IOANNA KAKOULLI is an assistant professor and holds a joint appointment in the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and The Department of Materials Science and Engineering.  She is a member of the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program, is a specialist in artwork diagnostic technologies. Her current research interests focus on the technology of the manufacture of ancient pigments and the study of artifacts using non-invasive methods of examination and analysis exploring the potentials of spectral imaging technologies. In addition to research in the materials and preservation of wall and canvas paintings, she has also conducted research in the conservation science of porous materials.  Prior to joining UCLA faculty, Kakoulli worked at Artwork Diagnostic Technologies and was a senior conservation scientist at the Malta Centre for Restoration.

Yoh Kawano
YOH KAWANO is UCLA’s Campus GIS Coordinator, where he supports collaborative environments between interdisciplinary groups, serving as a catalyst to promote and advance spatial research interests. He also oversees a community of campus GIS users by conducting GIS workshops and managing a campus GIS knowledge base website.  He will work with Chris Johanson to organize the faculty/TA training workshops and help manage the campus lab resources available for the core courses.

LI MIN received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2008 and joined UCLA as an assistant professor of East Asian Archaeology in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Interdepartmental Program of Archaeology. He is interested in the development of social complexity and state formation in late Neolithic and early Bronze Age China and the archaeological studies of material culture in early global encounter and colonization. These two seemingly unrelated fields are intricately connected in his theoretical concern for the dynamic interactions between large social systems, i.e. state and empires, and local societies far removed from the centers of political authority--how material mediations across diverse social formations transformed the societies involved and created relationships of dependency.  Forthcoming research project: "Archaeology of the Confucian Landscape", a landscape archaeology project of the Wen-Si River Valley in Shandong.

ELAINE SULLIVAN received a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.  Her dissertation research focused on excavations at the Temple of Mut at Karnak (Egypt).  She joined UCLA in the fall of 2007 as a post-doctoral fellow to oversee the Digital Karnak Project, creating a series of digital instructional tools about the ancient Egyptian temple complex.  Elaine is continuing at UCLA as coordinator for the Keck Digital Cultural Mapping Project, where she will help develop and teach undergraduate courses for the program.

Tim Tangherlini
TIM TANGHERLINI is a professor in the Scandinavian Section, and in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. A folklorist by training, the majority of his work focuses on narrative, popular culture, and critical approaches to geography. He is the author of Interpreting Legend (1994), one of the first attempts to apply descriptive statistics to a large folklore corpus; and Talking Trauma (1998), a study of paramedic storytelling in Oakland. He is also co-editor of Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity (1998) and Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography (2008). He has produced two documentary films, Talking Trauma (1994) and, along with Stephen Epstein, Our Nation: A Korean Punk Rock Community (2002). Along with a team of researchers, he is developing ICEMorph, an automated morphological analyzer for Old Icelandic. His current project, Sites of (re)Collection, focuses on the application of historical GIS and statistical machine learning to a large, heterogeneous corpus of Nordic folklore materials.  His research has been supported by grants from the NSF, the Guggenheim Founation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Nordic Council of Ministers. He is co-PI on a multiyear grant "Mapping Nordic Literary Culture." He is a fellow of the American Folklore Society.

Tim routinely teaches four courses that have a strong connection to the Digital Cultural Mapping program at UCLA. In his Introduction to Scandinavian Folklore (Scandinavian 171), students use mapping tools to discover geographic relationships between collectors, their informants, and the stories that these individuals told. The application of statistical methods to the underlying corpus allows students to test hypotheses related to social networks, infrastructure development, and the relationship of stories to the physical and manmade environment. This approach marks an important refinement to the original folklore method known as the "Historic-Geographic Method." In Twentieth Century Scandinavian Literature (Scandinavian 143), students engage Franco Moretti's concept of "distant reading" as they plot the movements of characters through the cities in which the works take place. For example, students have the opportunity to plot the movements of the characters in Smilla's Sense of Snow, to create a rich visualization of the geographic component to this environmental thriller. In Korean Folklore (Korean 183) and Korean Folk and Popular Religion (Korean 187), students carry out their own fieldwork in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Their collections--including the locations the events were collected, and locations related to the biographies of their informants--allow for rich mapping of the cultural landscape of Korean America. The final projects in both of these classes allow students to interrogate the expressive cultural maps of Korean America.