'Putting the Body of Manchester on Display' project receives John Rylands Research Institute and Library funding

Stephen Walker’s project 'Putting the Body of Manchester on Display' has received funding from the John Rylands Research Institute and Library Digital Humanities grant to run from September 2019 to July 2020.

The project uses GIS mapping alongside the University of Manchester’s Map Collections to examine Manchester’s historic city centre from 1730 to the present day.

Throughout history, the human body has influenced systems of belief, which have in turn found numerous means of cultural expression, including through architecture.

The hypotheses for this project is that these architecture-body interconnections have affected the architecture and urban fabric of Manchester; that examples can be identified using historical maps of the city and other information (including images and newspapers, supported by secondary sources); and that changes in attitudes towards the human body can be traced and visualized across time using Digital Humanities techniques.

There are two, interconnected objectives for this project, one academic and one technical.

These relate to two broad research questions: how has the (human) body has been controlled and ‘displayed’ by and in the city, its growth and fabric? How can Digital Humanities techniques, in turn, display these issues as they have developed over time, and open the topic up to new insights and analysis?

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