Sally Bushell is Professor of Romantic and Victorian Literature and Co-Director of The Wordsworth Centre in the Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Lancaster University. Her research seeks to open up new modes of interpretation by shifting the focus of literary criticism from interpretation of semantic content onto comparative understanding of other aspects of the work that not only illuminate traditional means of interpretation but potentially re-determine those means.
Her last major study Text as Process: Creative Composition in Wordsworth, Tennyson and Dickinson (2009) explored the margins of textuality by developing a method for interpreting works in a state of process. Her forthcoming monograph Spatialising the Literary Text is centred on paratextual relationships between empirical maps and texts in new literary genres emerging in the second half of the Nineteenth Century but also the broader relationship between visual / spatial and verbal meanings for the literary work and the question of how the reader internally maps literary place and space.
James Butler is the linguistics-led Research Associate on the project. He works on the spatial representation and depiction in cognitive maps, especially focused on the referential roles, creative application, and semantic interplay of names with specific places and generic spaces. His doctoral studies used the literary medium, but his subsequent work and teaching has focused on videogame studies and design of interesting mapping procedures. He has prior experience working with GIS, as well as creating new freestanding gazetteer data sets that allow deeper environmental mapping and reading on specialized corpora, such as The Corpus of Lake District Writing (Lancaster University) and earlier on The Medical Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (The University of Glasgow).
In addition to leading on the schema design and ongoing coding, James works with Sally as co-creator on Litcraft – an innovative and nationally-run educational resource that uses Minecraft to encourage literacy and improve engagement with potential reluctant readers. Chronotopic Cartographies for Literature provides an ideal union of his interests.
Rebecca Hutcheon is a Research Associate in the Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Lancaster University. She works on the literary geographies and spaces of the long nineteenth century, especially late-Victorian and Edwardian fiction and Romantic poetry. Her book Writing Place is concerned with neither the when nor the who but the where in literature. It is the first monograph to consider the works of George Gissing and his contemporaries in light of the spatial turn. Informed by narratology and spatial theory, the book asks: what are the risks of looking for the 'real' in literary places?
She is also the co-creator of Romantic Bristol: Writing the City, a smartphone app that offers a way into Bristol's Romantic period history through detailed site-specific content. In contrast to the armchair travel fostered by other digital mapping projects, the app enables users to explore the city on foot, discovering its history in the present, and seeing the present through the lens of the past. The app is a source of research data to explore how walking through a city is altered, enhanced, encouraged and deliberately or subliminally directed by representations of its history.
Duncan Hay is a Research Associate on the Chronotopic Cartographies project. His PhD research focused on the writing of the poet and essayist Iain Sinclair, reading his work through the theoretical articulations of space, time, and literary form as elaborated by Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project and elswewhere. However, he has pursued a parallel career in web development, and before coming to Lancaster worked on a number of web mapping and digital humanities projects at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London.
Recent projects have included Survey of London Whitechapel, an interactive map designed to facilitate the co-production of the histories of East London; Tales of the Park, an interactive, locative game designed to explore how chatbots and storytelling techniques might help people better understand privacy issues around 'Internet of Things' technologies; and the forthcoming 'Memory Map' of the Jewish East End, a collaboration with the artist and writer Rachel Lichtenstein.