Visualizing Global Encounters: Virtual Landscapes & Digital Histories

On March 27, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm, the Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies will host Visualizing Global Encounters: Virtual Landscapes & Digital Histories in the Vislab located in the Peter O’Donnell Building for Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences (POB 2.404a). Australian history has overwhelmingly focused on British “discovery,” exploration, and settler colonialism, despite the visitations by European and Asian agents of imperial and commercial interests over many centuries previously. The Global Encounters and First Nations Peoples: 1000 Years of Australian History project aims to radically shift Australia’s historical awareness by concentrating on the dynamic history of encounters between First Nations peoples and “outsiders” over the millennium.

Following an introduction to the Global Encounters Project by Professor Lynette Russell AM, Dr. Tom Chandler will explain what it means to move beyond digital maps and into virtual ones. What would it be like to go ‘inside” a historical map? What evidence could we examine to glean the space of the encounter, and what would we hear? Virtual Reality, distinct from other computational tools, renders such experiments possible. In reconceptualizing the space of the map, virtual reality presents new ways to apprehend the space of history.

Professor Lynette Russell is a Professor at the Monash Indigenous Studies Center at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Her work focuses on developing an anthropological approach to the story of the past. Her historical interests are far-ranging. They encompass the 16th to the 20th centuries and include Aboriginal people in the maritime industry as well as the Gunditjmara and Wurundjeri people of Victoria through the last 1000 years of encounter history. Professor Russell is currently examining Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Makassan encounters and contacts with the Australian landmass and its peoples.

Tom Chandler is a Senior Lecturer in Games and Immersive Media in the Faculty of IT at Monash University. His research explores the interdisciplinary applications of virtual world-building, with project collaborations ranging from archaeology and zoology through industrial design and landscape ecology. His primary research endeavor, the Visualizing Angkor Project, examines the evidence-based virtual reconstruction of Cambodia’s medieval capital in the year 1300. Tom’s university teaching resource was awarded the Innovation in Digital History prize by the American Historical Association in 2018, and the Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Prize by the Medieval Academy of America in 2021.

Make sure to RSVP for this event here.

Monday, March 27 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Peter O'Donnell Building for Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences (POB), 2.404a Peter O'Donnell Jr Building, 201 E 24th St, Austin, TX 78712

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