Anne Kelly Knowles
Co-founder, Holocaust Geographies Collaborative http://holocaustgeographies.geo.txstate.edu/
Historical GIS, Geovisualization, and Digital Humanities
Nineteenth-century United States
Intersections of economy, technology, and culture and their expression in the landscape
As an historical geographer, I am endlessly interested in the relationship between historical events, ways of life, how places evolve, geographical circumstances, and spatial connections. I have studied what moved Welsh people to emigrate to the United States, why American entrepreneurs struggled to match the productivity of the British iron industry, and a few of the many geographies of the Holocaust. For me, every study begins with questions of why certain things happened in some places and not others; how local conditions influenced people’s decisions; and how human actions shaped the built and natural landscape. I also have an abiding interest in finding methodological solutions to intellectual problems and in fostering productive, creative collaboration among scholars and students. Building bridges across disciplines has been a hallmark of my career.
After studying English and American literature as an undergraduate, I worked for years as a book editor in New York and Chicago. In the mid-1980s I happened to discover historical geography while editing a new U.S. history textbook with an ambitious map program. It changed my life. I received my PhD in Geography from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993 and took up my first teaching position that year in the Institute of Earth Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. There I taught primarily in Welsh, a beautiful language that I had learned to research 19th-century Welsh immigration for my dissertation. A postdoctoral fellowship at Wellesley College lured me back to the USA. A few years in the American wilderness followed, during which I began to focus on the potential of using GIS (geographic information systems) in historical research and teaching. In 2002 when I was hired into a tenure-track position in the Geography Department at Middlebury College, where I taught for thirteen years. I joined the Department of History at the University of Maine in August 2015.
2014 Lead editor, with Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano, Geographies of the Holocaust
(Indiana University Press).
2013 Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868
(University of Chicago Press).
2008 Editor, Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship, digital supplement edited by Amy Hillier (ESRI Press).
2002 Editor, Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History (ESRI Press).
1997 Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohio’s Industrial Frontier (University
of Chicago Press).
Refereed journal issues
2005 Guest editor, Emerging Trends in Historical GIS, Historical Geography 33.
2000 Guest editor, Historical GIS: The Spatial Turn in Social Science History, Social
Science History 24:3.
Recent articles and book chapters
2021 Tim Cole and Anne Kelly Knowles, “Thinking Spatially about the Holocaust,” in
Places, Spaces, and Voids in the Holocaust, edited by Natalia Aleksiun and Hana
Kubátová (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag): 291-96.
2021 “Geography and the Holocaust,” in The SAGE Handbook of Historical Geography, vol.
2, edited by Mona Domosh, Michael Heffernan, and Charles Withers (London:
2020 Levi Westerveld and Anne Kelly Knowles, “Loosening the Grid: Topology as the
Basis for a More Inclusive GIS,” International Journal of Geographic Information Science, 1-20. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2020.1856854.
2020 Levi Westerveld and Anne Kelly Knowles, I Was There: Places of Experience in the
Holocaust, in Atlas of Design, edited by Brooke E. Marston, et al. (North American
Cartographic Information Society, printed by Shapco Printing, Golden Valley,
Minn.): 62-65. Juried selection, one of 31 maps chosen from 450 submissions.
2020 Anne Kelly Knowles, Paul B. Jaskot, Tim Cole, and Alberto Giordano, “Mind the
Gap: Reading Across the Holocaust Testimonial Archive,” in Lessons & Legacies 14,
The Holocaust in the Twenty-First Century: Relevance and Challenges in the Digital Age,
edited by Tim Cole and Simone Gigliotti (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University
2020 Anne Kelly Knowles and Justus Hillebrand, with Paul B. Jaskot and Anika Walke,
“Integrative, Interdisciplinary Database Design for the Spatial Humanities,”
International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 14: 1-2: 64-80.
2019 Weihe W. Guan, Matthew W. Wilson, and Anne Kelly Knowles, “Evaluating the
Geographic in GIS,” Geographical Review 109(3): 297-307. DOI:
2018 “HGIS and the American Iron Industry,” in The Routledge Handbook of Spatial
History, edited by Donald DeBats and Ian Gregory (New York: Routledge): 136-
2016 “Historical GIS and Social Science History,” Social Science History 40(4): 741-750.
2016 “Interview with Anne Knowles, Tim Cole, Alberto Giordano, and Paul Jaskot,” in
Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture, edited by Claudio Fogu, Wulf Kansteiner,
and Todd Presner (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press): 240-256.
2015 “Inductive Visualization: A Humanistic Alternative to GIS,” with Levi Westerveld
and Laura Strom, GeoHumanities 1(2): 233-65. DOI 10.1080/2373566X.2015.1108831.
2015 “A Research-Based Model for Digital Mapping and Art History: Notes from the
Field,” with Paul B. Jaskot, Andrew Wasserman, Stephen Whiteman, and Benjamin
Zweig, ArtL@s Bulletin 4:1, Article 5. Available online at
2015 “Historians and Maps,” The History of Cartography, vol. 6, Cartography in the Twentieth Century, edited by Mark Monmonier (University of Chicago Press): 597 – 601.
2015 “Historical Geography and Cartography,” The History of Cartography, vol. 6,
Cartography in the Twentieth Century, edited by Mark Monmonier (University of
Chicago Press): 603 – 7.
2014 “Why We Must Make Maps: Historical Geography as a Visual Craft,” Historical
Geography 42 (2014): 3 – 26. Distinguished Historical Geographer lecture.
2018 “I Was There: Places of Experience in the Holocaust,” with Levi Westerveld, map (no scale), published with commentary on VisionsCarto, https://visionscarto.net/i-was-there, Dec. 13. French and German translations by Nepthys Zwer.
2014 TED-ED Talk, “A Digital Reimagining of Gettysburg,” http://ed.ted.com/lessons/a-digital-reimagining-of-gettysburg-anne-knowles.
2013 “A Cutting-Edge Second Look at the Battle of Gettysburg,” with Daniel Patrick Miller, International Mapping, and ESRI StoryMaps, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ history-archaeology/A-Cutting-Edge-Second-Look-at-the-Battle-of-Gettysburg.html.
Research grants and fellowships
2021 Regular Faculty Research Award, University of Maine, for archival and field
research toward An Atlas of the Holocaust ($10,000).
2021 Collaborative Research Seed Grant, Center for the Humanities, Washington
University in St. Louis (Anika Walke, Project Coordinator; Anne Kelly Knowles and
Dan Miller, Collaborators), for “Capturing Place-Based Experiences in Holocaust
Survivor Testimony” ($14,195).
2020 Faculty Research Award, McGillicuddy Humanities Center, University of Maine, to
support Dan Miller’s continued development of digital tools to enable tagging and
analysis of the spatial content in Holocaust survivor interview transcripts ($2,000).
2019 Faculty Research Award, McGillicuddy Humanities Center, University of Maine, to
work with Levi Westerveld on a topological approach to mapping place and
movement during the Holocaust ($2,000).
2018-2022 PI, co-PIs Paul B. Jaskot and Anika Walke, National Endowment for the
Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, Award HAA-261290, for The
Holocaust Ghettos Project: Reintegrating Victims and Perpetrators through Places and Events ($296,455).
2016-2018 PI, National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant,
Level II, Award HE-248377-16, for Visualizing Spatial Experience in Holocaust
2015 Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (taken 2017).
2014 Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Summer Institute on Digital Mapping and Art
History, co-directed with Paul B. Jaskot.
2012 Newberry Library Short Term Fellowship in the History of Cartography.
2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend.
2008 – 2011 National Science Foundation Collaborative Research Grant No. 0820487,
Holocaust Historical GIS (Alberto Giordano, PI) and Research at an Undergraduate
Institution Grant No. 0820501 (Anne Kelly Knowles, PI).
2005 National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship.
2003 National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant to the
Newberry Library, History and Geography: Assessing the Role of Geographical
Information in Historical Scholarship.
1999 American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship.
1997 – 1999 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geography, Wellesley College.
1997, 1998 British Academy personal research grants.
Honors and awards
2019 Avenza Competition for Cartographic Design, 1st prize, American Association of Geographers, for I Was There: Places of Experience in the Holocaust, by Levi Westerveld
and Anne Kelly Knowles.
2014 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Award, Association of American Geographers.
2014 Distinguished Historical Geographer, Historical Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers.
2012 American Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship, Smithsonian magazine.
For a full CV, please contact me at email@example.com.