I’ve been interested in space (the geographic kind) for some time. In my 2009 OUP book Entering the Agon (http://oro.open.ac.uk/18589/), I explored the space of debate in various forms of ancient Greek literature – where it takes place, what form it takes, and the consequences that follow on from it. Such an approach helped shed light on the interest in institutional debate that texts from the Iliad through to Thucydides’s History shared, and that served incidentally to reproduce a framework for managing dissent.
More recently I have been interested in issues of space and place more explicitly, from the viewpoint of cultural geography. Increasingly, this work has leveraged, as well as explored the use of, digital tools. For several years I led the Hestia project (http://hestia.open.ac.uk/), which undertook a geospatial analysis of Herodotus’s Histories to reveal a world structured around action and influence rather than by topographic location. Our study helped bring out how Herodotus’s discursive space maps places as connecting agents rather than as dots on a map (see our 2016 OUP book: New Worlds out of Old Texts, http://oro.open.ac.uk/34488/).
Pondering about space and place has taken centre stage in the Pelagios project. At one level Pelagios has been (for me) about connecting documents through their common references to places (and vice versa), in order to enrich the cultural context of the works I study and hence their interpretation. At another level, however, working on Pelagios has helped me gain a richer understanding of place more generally – its definition, discovery and analysis through a range of different media. It is this conceptual sharpening of humanistic concerns that, IMHO, shows the greatest potential for digital technologies.