UCLA Spotlight

Todd Presner, Digital Humanities

  • Published Apr 15, 2009 8:00 AM

What is a "techie-humanist?" It's a new kind of scholar, using digital technologies to create exciting new ways to study the Humanities. And one of its most imaginative members is Todd Presner, UCLA associate professor of Germanic Languages and Jewish Studies. Presner's remarkable hyper-cities project are online geodatabases in which Web surfers can virtually "travel" to a city and explore its streets and buildings — the present as well as the distant past, going back hundreds of years. Berlin, Los Angeles and Rome are just some of the places that already have received hyper-treatments, with more sure to come. It's a new way of looking at history and culture that’s only going to grow. As Presner notes, "the humanities are changing." And he's one of the foremost change agents.