Dr Benjamin Vis
Eastern ARC Research Fellow (Digital Humanities)
- +44(0)1227 826543
Office: Cornwallis Central 108
Working from the University of Kent, I start and facilitate collaborative research initiatives in the broad fields of Digital Humanities and Digital Heritage within the new research consortium Eastern ARC, uniting the universities of Kent, Essex and East Anglia. My work is primarily interdisciplinary covering both the humanities and social sciences.
I completed my PhD in 2013, titled Mapping the Inhabited Urban Built Environment: The socio-spatial significance of the material presence of boundaries through time (http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/5900/). This work develops a new analytical and interpretive method for urban researchers in archaeology, history, geography, architecture and cognate disciplines, called Boundary Line Type (BLT) Mapping. I received my undergrad and research Master’s degrees from Leiden University reading Archaeology with a specific focus on Mesoamerican and Maya culture.
My research interests centre on (material and social) space, urban space and the built environment in particular. I aim to broadly contribute to fundamental understandings of how human beings in societies transform their life-world for and through inhabitation.
To this end I focus on interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and methodological developments, which draw upon research in archaeology, geography, anthropology, architecture, history, sociology, and related fields. In its applied form I am developing case studies on a variety of cities to enable social comparisons of urban built environment traditions or cultures worldwide and across time. So far this work has started to address the historical development of Winchester from the Medieval period and the Early Classic Maya Lowland city Chunchucmil (Mexico).
A particular new direction in my research is concerned with gaining a better understanding of the functioning of tropical low-density cities or agro-urban landscapes as found in Mesoamerica, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. By contrasting these alternative forms of urbanism to urbanisation patterns and processes in contemporary cities I aim to learn about the social resilience and sustainability of developing physical configurations for urban ways of life.
I hold memberships of the following academic societies: Royal Geographical Society (Urban Geography and Historical Geography groups); Wayeb (European Mayanists); International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF); Aerial Archaeology Research Group (AARG); International Society for Archaeological Prospection (ISAP); Computer Applications & Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA); European Association for Archaeologists (EAA).
I am also Co-Director of the Kent Interdisciplinary centre for Spatial Studies (KISS). This new research centre operates across schools in the humanities and social sciences and is developing a programme of research activities starting 2015/16back to top
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository