A technical approach to the ancient world

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While attending Iowa State University, Christopher Johanson moonlighted at the Iowa Center for Emerging Manufacturing Technology. This was while he was working toward a BA in classical studies, which he earned in 1999.

Johanson was developing multi-dimensional audio solutions and CAVE-based Virtual Reality applications at ISU. He continued this interdisciplinary approach to the ancient world at UCLA, where he received a MA (2003) and Ph.D. (2008), while concurrently developing digital reconstructions of ancient sites for the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory.

For his many endeavors and accolades, the classical studies program is honoring Johanson with its Distinguished Alumni Award for 2011.

Johanson joined the Department of Classics at UCLA in 2008 as part of a Division of the Humanities initiative to build a digital humanities program, which was successfully launched this year. He is currently developing a hybrid, geo-temporal publication tentatively titled Spectacle in the Forum: Visualizing the Roman Aristocratic Funeral of the Middle Republic, which is a study of material and literary contexts set within a digital laboratory.

As associate director of the UCLA Experimental Technologies Center, he has collaborated on multidimensional mapping projects set in Bolivia, Peru, Albania, Iceland, Spain and Italy. He now co-directs the Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage and has just begun an NEH-funded Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant "Immersive Coordinates" in support of digital research at two archaeological sites in western Turkey, Nysa and Magnesia on the Maeander.

He received the Google Digital Humanities Award in 2010-11, was a co-recipient of the first annual MacArthur Foundation/HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Innovation Award: HyperCities in 2008, and received the Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Fellowship in 1999-2000.