Alyson A. Gill, Institute Co-Director, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Lisa M. Snyder, Institute Co-Director, UCLA
Erik Champion, Curtin University, Australia
John R. Clarke, University of Texas, Austin (2015 only)
Diane Favro, UCLA
Lisa Fischer, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Digital History Center (2015 only)
Arne Flaten, Coastal Carolina University (2015 only)
Bernard Frischer, Indiana University
Ruth Hawkins, Arkansas State University (2015 only)
Christopher Johanson, UCLA
Henry E. Lowood, Stanford University (2016 only)
Angel David Nieves, Hamilton College (2015 only)


Alyson A. Gill, Ph.D., Institute Co-Director
Alyson Gill (Ph.D. University of Memphis) is Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her field of expertise is Greek art and architecture. When in Greece on a Fulbright scholarship, Gill began to realize the need for new ways to represent architectural models and in 2006 began to use 3D models on a spatial analysis of the Greek bath after participating in an NEH summer institute “Models of Ancient Rome.” As a direct result of collaborative relationships developed there, she applied for and was awarded an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up grant in 2007 with Coastal Carolina University entitled, “Ashes2Art: Virtual Reconstructions of Ancient Sites.” Gill has published in digital archaeology and recently co-edited a special edition of Visual Resources (2010) entitled ″Continuous Crossroads: New Directions in the Digital Humanities.″ In 2012 Gill assumed the role of Associate Editor of Digital Applications in Archaeology & Cultural Heritage, an online peer-reviewed journal for cultural heritage. Gill has been deeply involved with the Computer Applications in Quantitative Archaeology conference as a presenter, session chair, and member of the scientific committee for the past six years. In 2011 Gill was appointed the founding Director of the Center for Digital Initiatives, a Center of Excellence at ASU, and under her leadership, the CDI created online 3D models of key ASU heritage sites, and worked on extensive visualization projects with almost every college at ASU and with groups across the state. In 2012 Gill was PI for an NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, “Humanities Heritage 3D Visualization: Theory and Practice,” held jointly at ASU and UAF campuses in 2013. In 2014, Gill was co-PI for an NEH Digital Humanities Start Up Grant “Dangerous Embodiments: Theories Methods and Best Practices for Historical Character Modeling in Humanities 3D Environments” (HD-51944-14).

Lisa M. Snyder, Ph.D. Project Co-Director
Lisa M. Snyder (Ph.D. UCLA) is an architectural historian and research scholar with UCLA’s Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE) and is an Associate Editor of Digital Studies / Le Champ Numérique. From 1996 – 2013 she was a senior member of the Urban Simulation Team at UCLA. Snyder’s primary research is on educational applications for three-dimensional computer models of historic urban environments. She developed the reconstruction model of the Herodian Temple Mount installed in 2001 at the Davidson Center in Jerusalem, and is currently working on a reconstruction model of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition that is shown regularly at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. In 2010 she received an NEH-Digital Humanities Start-Up grant (HD-50958-10) for the development of a software interface (VSim) that provides users with the ability to craft narratives in 3D space as well as the ability to embed annotations and links to primary and secondary resources and web content from within the environments. This work is continuing under an NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grant. Snyder gave the keynote at the 2013 NEH Humanities Heritage 3D Visualization: Theory and Practice Summer Institute.

Professor Erik Champion, Visiting Lecturer
Erik Champion (Ph.D. University of Melbourne) is a Professor of Cultural Visualization at Media Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University, Australia. Professor Champion is internationally renowned and respected in the field of the use of computer gaming in learning, research, and broader interest contexts of archaeology, history, and cultural heritage. Trained originally in architecture, his Ph.D. dissertation in 2006 from the University of Melbourne was on Evaluating Cultural Learning in Virtual Environments, using the archaeological and cultural heritage site of Palenque, Mexico, as a test-case. Prior to joining the Humanities Faculty of Curtin University he was Project leader in new Digital Humanities Lab Denmark, a consortium of four Danish universities, where he was hosted at Aarhus University. Here he worked with EU research infrastructures and projects acting as the “Research and Public Engagement” leader for From 2008 to 2011 he was Associate Professor in the School of Design, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, New Zealand. In his 2011 book Playing with the Past (Springer-Verlag) Dr. Champion discusses the construction of virtual environments, place-making, cultural presence, game- style interaction, interactive narratives, serious games, and architectural visualization in the context of past cultural contexts of heritage, history, and archaeology. Professor Champion will be joining the 2015 Institute via SKYPE due to the difficulty of travel from Perth, Australia, and he will discuss classroom experiences (both good and bad) gleaned from teaching game design, especially work by students to develop serious games using historical events or mythological happenings. His central argument will be that despite apparent initial barriers, both students and teachers (and academics in general) can learn from the actual process of game design, and from watching people play.

Professor John R. Clarke, Visiting Lecturer
John Clarke (Ph.D. Yale University) is a professor of art history at the University of Texas, Austin. Clarke is co-director of the Oplontis Project, a collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii and the King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College, London. The Oplontis Project will furnish a comprehensive publication of this huge luxury villa (50 B.C.-A.D. 79), with all the research findings keyed to a navigable, 3D digital model. Support for the project includes a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Professor Diane Favro, Visiting Lecturer
Diane Favro (Ph.D. UC Berkeley) is a professor of architecture and the director of the Experiential Technologies Center (ETC) in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles. The author of many articles, reviews, and the book, “The Urban Image of Augustan Rome,” she oversees all Experiential Technologies Center projects and conducts research on how best to apply virtual reality technology in the classroom. Professor Favro was co-initiator of the internationally acknowledged Rome Reborn project, a 3D digital scholarly reconstruction of ancient Rome, along with Professor Bernard Frischer. In 2008 the Digital Karnak project was launched at the ETC. This project was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Steinmetz Family Trust and brought together twenty-four scholars and technicians. Karnak was one of the most important religious centers in ancient Egypt, occupying sixty-nine acres with eight temples, ten small chapels, ten monumental gateways, fifteen obelisks, one hundred sphinxes, and a ceremonial lake. The ETC model includes all of these 301 features and provides access to the site at any point in time between 1951 BCE and 31 BCE 302. The Digital Karnak web site also includes links to thematic videos and animations of the temple including a two-dimensional overlay that can be downloaded to a desktop computer so that the model can be viewed in Google Earth. In addition to her credentials in the realm of digital archaeology and virtual reality, Favro recently served as president of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Lisa Fischer, Visiting Lecturer
Lisa Fischer (M.A. College of William & Mary) is Director of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Digital History Center (DHC). A historical archaeologist, Fischer focuses her research on the use of digital technologies for educating and engaging public audiences—both online and onsite—with the past. The DHC’s core projects include development of: Virtual Williamsburg, an interactive 3D model of the town as it looked in 1776;, a website exploring the causes, character, and consequences of the American Revolution; Colonial Williamsburg’s online-onsite alternate reality game series, RevQuest: Save the Revolution!; and Slavery and Remembrance, an international network of sites interpreting slavery and the slave trade. Fischer has led the DHC since 2006 and during that time overseen multiple grant-funded projects, including an IMLS National Leadership Grant entitled “Revolutionary City: Developing a Virtual Reality Model of Williamsburg In 1776” and an NEH Challenge Grant that established a 3D Visualization Lab in the DHC. She is currently the Chair of the North American chapter of Computer Application and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) and a Co-Chair of the upcoming second international Congress on Digital Heritage to be held in the fall of 2015 in Granada, Spain.

Professor Arne R. Flaten, Visiting Lecturer
Arne Flaten (Ph.D. Indiana University-Bloomington) is Professor of Art History and Chair of Visual Arts at Coastal Carolina University, and from 2008-2010 he was Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CCU. He is Director of the Digital Humanities Collaboratory at CCU, co-founder and co-director of Ashes2Art: Digital Reconstructions of Ancient Monuments (, co-founder and co-director of the Digital Jazz Manuscripts Archive, and co-founder of the Uncommon Press Project. In addition to numerous articles, chapters, catalogue entries and proceedings, Flaten is author of Medals and Plaquettes 15th to 20th Centuries: The Ulrich Middeldorf Collection (Indiana University Press, 2012); co-editor and contributor to two special issues of Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation (2009, 2012); co-editor of two issues of the The Medal (British Museum Press, 2010, 2015); and co-editor and contributor to Mediterranean Archaeometry and Archaeology (2015). Flaten’s research has been supported by the William J. Fulbright Commission; the J. Paul Getty Research Institute; the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the National Endowment for the Humanities USA; the National Endowment for the Arts USA; and the Renaissance Society of America. He has received various teaching awards from two universities, leadership and scholarship awards, and an Outstanding Service award from the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 2013 Flaten was named the HTC Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at Coastal Carolina University, the University’s highest honor, and in 2014 he was elected to European Academy of Science and Arts—Salzburg.

Professor Bernard Frischer, Visiting Lecturer
Bernard Frischer (Ph.D. Heidelberg) is a professor of Informatics in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, where he also directs The Virtual World Heritage Laboratory. While at the University of Virginia, he developed the Digital Hadrian’s Villa Project. He is the winner of two lifetime achievement awards in the field of virtual archaeology. He is also Editor-in-Chief of “Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage” (DAACH), an online peer-reviewed journal.

Dr. Ruth Hawkins, Director, Heritage Sites, Arkansas State University
Ruth Hawkins (Ph.D. University of Mississippi) received an NEH “We the People” Challenge Grant in 2005 titled “Working the Land: From Slavery to Sharecropping and Beyond in the Arkansas Delta,” to assist in the research, restoration, and interpretation of key agricultural heritage sites throughout the Delta region. As director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at ASU, she has attracted more than $19 million in grant funds for Delta heritage-related projects. Along with the NEH grant, she has received major funds from the Save America’s Treasures program, the National Scenic Byway program, and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Hawkins teaches preservation and cultural tourism classes in the ASU Heritage Studies Ph.D. program and is a frequent presenter at national and international literary, heritage tourism and preservation conferences.

Professor Christopher Johanson, Visiting Lecturer
Chris Johanson (Ph.D. UCLA) is assistant professor of Classics and Digital Humanities at University of California, Los Angeles. He is the Associate Director of the UCLA Experiential Technologies Center, and has collaborated on many international mapping and visualization projects. He is currently developing a hybrid, geo-temporal publication entitled “Spectacle in the Forum: Visualizing the Roman Aristocratic Funeral of the Middle Republic,” a study of material and literary contexts set within a digital laboratory. He co-directs UCLA’s Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage, is the PI of the Mellon Foundation-sponsored Humanities Virtual World Consortium, is co-PI of Google Geo-Scribe, a Google Digital Humanities Project, and was a co-recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s inaugural Digital Media and Learning Award.

Dr. Henry Lowood, Visiting Speaker
Henry Lowood is curator for history of science & technology collections and film & media collections at Stanford University. After being trained in the history of science and technology and receiving his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, over a period of more than twenty-five years he has combined interests in history, technological innovation and the history of digital games and simulations to head several long-term projects at Stanford, including How They Got Game: The History and Culture of Interactive Simulations and Videogames in the Stanford Humanities Lab, the Silicon Valley Archives in the Stanford University Libraries and the Machinima Archives and Archiving Virtual Worlds collections hosted by the Internet Archive. He is leading Stanford’s work on game and virtual world preservation in the Preserving Virtual Worlds project funded by the U.S. Library of Congress and the Institute for Museum and Library services. He is also the author of numerous articles and essays on the history of Silicon Valley and the development of digital game technology and culture. With Michael Nitsche, he edited The Machinima Reader for MIT Press (2011) and guest-edited a volume of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing on the history of computers and games. Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon, also by MIT Press and co-edited with Raiford Guins, will be published in June 2016.

Dr. Angel David Nieves, Visiting Lecturer
Angel Nieves (Ph.D. Cornell) is an Associate Professor at Hamilton College and is currently Co- Directing Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), a $1.75 million Mellon Foundation Grant funded project. Nieves is also the Director of the American Studies Program, founder of the Soweto Historical GIS Project, and a founding member of the Cinema and New Media Studies (CNMS) minor. His co-edited book, ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (2008), examines African American efforts to claim space in American society despite fierce resistance. Nieves has published essays in the Journal of Planning History, Places Journal: A Forum of Design for the Public Realm; International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, and in several edited collections, including Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing With Difficult Heritage (2009) and The Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities: The Challenges of Change (2014). He is also advising on the permanent exhibit, “The Power of Place,” for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015. In 2014, Nieves was co-PI for an NEH Digital Humanities Start Up Grant “Dangerous Embodiments: Theories Methods and Best Practices for Historical Character Modeling in Humanities 3D Environments” (HD-51944-14).

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?