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Bursary holders 2019

In 2019 we granted a small number of bursaries for attendance to students and early career researchers - with the aim of disseminating what they have learnt to others within their field. We had a

Lena Emelyn Zlock, University of Oxford, Mst. in Modern Languages, Ertegun Scholar

Workshop: Applied Data Analysis

 

My research focuses on Voltaire’s private working library of 6,763 books. With the advent of digital humanities, we can now visualize the full breadth and depth of Voltaire’s “laboratory of thought.” Understanding the library holistically will give us new insights into the forces that shaped Voltaire’s thinking. I am presently building a data set of the library’s contents, with 135 metadata categories per text (including parameters like language, genre, and publication data). The database incorporates linked data from sources including Wikidata, VIAF, dataBNF, and GeoNames. The next phase is reconstructing the social networks between Voltaire and the authors using data from Early Modern Letters Online and Electronic Enlightenment.

Read Lena's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Chen Xie, University of Oxford, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics

Workshop: From Text to Tech

 

As a master student in linguistics, I am currently interested in the syntax of Wenzhounese, an endangered language spoken in Zhejiang Province, China. The digital techniques are essential for the construction of a detailed, user-friendly corpus of Wenzhounese. At the moment, the only corpus for this language is Wenzhou Spoken Corpus. The data inside the corpus are not parsed, and the texts are a mixture of Chinese characters and Latin transcriptions. Therefore, this corpus is not very helpful for a corpus-driven study of Wenzhounese.  By attending DHOxSS, I wish I could master some practical details of corpus construction, such as lemmatization and tagging. I also wish the fundamentals of Python and NLP can help me to annotate the syntax of Wenzhounese more accurately, e.g. draw a dependent tree with the Universal Dependencies format, or generate grammatical sentences by the finite state machine. The basics of semantics analysis are also crucial for the study of Wenzhounese, because it is a topic-prominent language in which the sentence-initial topic does not necessarily relates to the arguments of the predicate.

Chen Xie, University of Oxford, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics

Workshop: From Text to Tech

 

As a master student in linguistics, I am currently interested in the syntax of Wenzhounese, an endangered language spoken in Zhejiang Province, China. The digital techniques are essential for the construction of a detailed, user-friendly corpus of Wenzhounese. At the moment, the only corpus for this language is Wenzhou Spoken Corpus. The data inside the corpus are not parsed, and the texts are a mixture of Chinese characters and Latin transcriptions. Therefore, this corpus is not very helpful for a corpus-driven study of Wenzhounese.  By attending DHOxSS, I wish I could master some practical details of corpus construction, such as lemmatization and tagging. I also wish the fundamentals of Python and NLP can help me to annotate the syntax of Wenzhounese more accurately, e.g. draw a dependent tree with the Universal Dependencies format, or generate grammatical sentences by the finite state machine. The basics of semantics analysis are also crucial for the study of Wenzhounese, because it is a topic-prominent language in which the sentence-initial topic does not necessarily relates to the arguments of the predicate.

Read Chen's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Ellen Roberts, University of Birmingham

Workshop: Applied Data Analysis

 

As an MA by research student and a future PhD candidate working in an interdisciplinary space, methods from the digital humanities have become fundamental to my research. My current project involves the use of the OED API prototype to investigate John Milton’s lexicon in relation to his contemporaries.

 

Through producing scripts to retrieve and analyse the OED data, I have gained an invaluable insight into the possibilities of digital techniques for linguistic and literary study. This is something that I hope to continue into my PhD, with a comprehensive investigation into the linguistic nature of genre in Early Modern Drama. This proposed project would rely heavily on the digital humanities in its use of marked-up corpora and large-scale data exploration.   

Ellen Roberts, University of Birmingham

Workshop: Applied Data Analysis

 

As an MA by research student and a future PhD candidate working in an interdisciplinary space, methods from the digital humanities have become fundamental to my research. My current project involves the use of the OED API prototype to investigate John Milton’s lexicon in relation to his contemporaries.

 

Through producing scripts to retrieve and analyse the OED data, I have gained an invaluable insight into the possibilities of digital techniques for linguistic and literary study. This is something that I hope to continue into my PhD, with a comprehensive investigation into the linguistic nature of genre in Early Modern Drama. This proposed project would rely heavily on the digital humanities in its use of marked-up corpora and large-scale data exploration.   

Read Ellen's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Ana Llorens, Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Workshop: Digital Musicology

 

As a postdoctoral researcher of the European Research Council project ‘’DIDONE. The Sources of Absolute Music: Mapping Emotions in Eighteenth-Century Italian Opera’, directed by Dr. Álvaro Torrente and based at the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (Madrid), I will be analysing a corpus of ca. 4000 eighteenth-century arias on libretti by Pietro Metastasio. More specifically, I will develop and implement models of comparative analysis of select opera arias, looking for patterns for the expression of emotions, codified according to Descartes’ theory. I will aim to determine whether or not particular compositional techniques and strategies (including. keys, time signatures, melodic motives, leaps, harmonic progressions, rhythmic configurations, and scoring, among other factors) were already associated to specific words or emotional moods, in a period in which instrumental music was starting to emancipate from poetical texts.

 

Therefore, the application of computational methods for such big data analysis will be critical in my research.  While I used related tools during my doctoral research (University of Cambridge), I applied them to the analysis of recorded performances. As a consequence, the adoption of computational methods in the aforementioned analysis of musical scores will broaden my research field in relation to both the repertory and the type of sources studies.

Read Ana's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Colton Valentine, University of Oxford, English Faculty

Workshop: From Text to Tech

 

My research focuses on nineteenth-century literary cosmopolitanism and xenophilia: the way Victorian writers represented and drew influence from their continental counterparts. Currently my methods only allow me to work on small corpuses: by, say, close-reading the portrayal of Paris in Henry James novels or studying the way periodicals discussed translations of decadent French novels by Joris-Karl Huysmans. Digital humanities approaches, from semantic-cohort to network analysis, are essential to working with broader corpuses of texts and actors. Through the ‘From Text to Tech’ workshop I would develop skills in Python to approach questions like: How does the language associated with French topoi and French writers shift in Victorian novels over the course of the century? Which Victorian periodicals take a more xenophobic or xenophilic approach to foreign literature?

Read Colton's report on attending DHOxSS2019

 

Annemieke Romein, Ghent University

Workshop: Linked Data for Digital Humanities

 

I want to bring about a revolution in the study of legal/ political-institutional history of the early modern era. Normative texts (topic and content wise) were much connected, especially since Europe was a patchwork of small states and social/ economic problems did cross borders. With many researchers knowing a lot about little areas, I would like to form a bridge. Most scholars in the field work with the same terminology and categorisations, and have databases.

 

Using Linked Data I will be able to find patterns in the legislative big data answering questions about the intimate Entanglement of pre-modern States. Increasing the search- and accessibility is relevant beyond history, as scholars in the fields of political sciences, sociology, and linguistics also study these sources. Linked-Data will help to create an unprecedented overview of similar sources, language development, and political activities throughout Europe.

Read Annemieke's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Jennifer Ward, Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), Universität Mainz

Workshop: Digital Musicology

 

I work at RISM, a project responsible for a massive pool of musicological data. I would like to gain a thorough understanding of current techniques used in digital musicology so I can better engage with researchers who use our data, positioning it in a way that is easy to use. At the same time, I think there is potential for utilization on a wider scale, but an obstacle is that some people are unaware of the possibilities, do not know where to start, or think they have to be able to code in order to manipulate the data. I would like to learn new tools so I can teach them to other researchers in terms of our project's data, thereby simplifying the process of getting started, even for scholars who lack technical knowledge.  Another reason for attending DHOxSS 2019 is for me to harness techniques that can help me in my dissertation research, which looks at the print culture of 17th-century music. The collection I am examining is complex in terms of geographic origin, chronological scope, quantity, and changes over time. Learning digital tools will enhance my analysis of networks of distribution and movement of the music, revealing aspects that would not be evident by looking at data on a page.

Read Jennifer's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Chenzi Xu, University of Oxford, General Linguistics and Comparative Philology

Workshop: Text to Tech

 

I’m a first-year DPhil student in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology. Currently my research focuses on large scale phonetic research, in which data mining, cleaning, processing, and analysis are essential. Phonetic or audio data are often transformed into digits and numbers, on which analysis is based. Learning corpus and annotation skills also attracts me a lot because in my research I work with corpora a lot. I build my own corpus of minority varieties of languages using data collected from my field trip. Being able to automatically adding linguistic information to a corpus is very helpful for adding contexts and metadata of a speech corpus, and for further analysis and interpretation of data. I very much hope to learn Python programming to process large scale data in an efficient way. I believe acquiring such a skill will be tremendously beneficial to my research and future career.

Read Chenzi's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Jennifer Dodsworth, University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment

Workshop: Text to Tech

 

My PhD research examines the role of digital media, more specifically visual social media, in public perceptions of rural spaces. These dynamics are explored in the context of the Lake District National Park in the United Kingdom, and experimental digital methods are utilised to examine large datasets of existing online images of the Lake District. I would like to use technical skills learned in the ‘From Text To Tech’ class to enable me to confidently engage with Social Media Platform APIs, and be able to better understand how programming languages work to process textual and visual data. I am using a macro for ImageJ software developed by the Software Studies Initiative to visualise and analyse images of ‘#LakeDistrict’ which have been posted on the social media platform Instagram. I hope that the Text to Tech training would enable me to develop the basic Python skills that I will then apply to further process and analyse these images and their associated metadata (including vital textual information such as captions). This analysis would add more depth to my current analyses by being able to examine the textual data which accompanies my image dataset for evidence of particular discourses of nature and tourism in user captions and comments.

Read Jennifer's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Alžbeta Zavřelová, Masaryk University/Moravian Library, Czech Republic

Workshop: An Introduction to Digital Humanities

I am a full-time PhD student at the Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences in Brno. My interest in Digital Humanities is based on my focus on innovative tools and methods in historical heritage research. I had a chance to do my MA Thesis at Manuscript research centre in Austria where I tried new methods in the digital environment, eg. IR- watermark imaging. This experience pushed me to open this topic in Czech Republic where it is at its beginnings. I am currently a team member at Moravian Library where we work on a project about machine learning (historical OCR/HTR) and reconstructions of damaged documents, eg. text evidence lost by water damage, dirt or ink vanishing. I chose the An Introduction workshop because I want to get a better understanding of Digital Humanities. The most attractive for me is Hyperspectral Imaging. This year I have a chance to use hyperspectral camera (SpecimIQ) in my research, however it is unknown research method at my home institution. I would like to take best practices from foreign experts I may use in my next career. Workshops about data visualization, digital scholarships, forensic stylometry, as well as computer vision tools, may help me to get better idea of complex humanities research and effective data passing. Since 2019 Moravian Library becomes a member of international infrastructure DARIAH so learn about IIIF is highly relevant.

Read Alžbeta's report on attending DHOxSS2019

Alice Blackwood, University of Oxford, Faculty of History

Workshop: Humanities Data, Case Studies and Approaches

For my thesis research, I use a variety of different types of historical data in different ways. I have thousands of data points which represent individuals in English parishes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, each with its own unique metadata. I am currently using NVivo to query this data and build matrices to answer questions about similarities and differences between these data points based on their metadata (e.g. of these parishioners, which were women and which women held parish offices, and where did they live and when?). Eventually, I would like to be able to represent these data points with network analysis / a graph database, but I have not yet figured out the appropriate programme to use for this, or if it is even feasible with the amount of data I have. I also have financial data, both for individuals and for communities, which I would like to be able to analyse comparatively, accounting for real wages and inflation. Added to all this, I have geographical and chronological data which I would like to be able to represent in a visual - preferably interactive - way. This includes locations on maps and timelines showing the lives of individuals and adding a time dimension to the network analysis aforementioned. As of now, I have been using third-party applications such as NVivo to organise and analyse my data, but I am hoping that by attending DHOxSS I can learn about other applications and methods that might work for the types of data I am working with. I am hoping to find ways to clean up my data and represent it that are better than what I am doing currently. I also hope to eventually create digital transcripts of many of the manuscripts I have worked on and make a public database of parish governors, perhaps as a digital humanities project coming out of my DPhil, so I would like to learn more about how one would go about starting a project like that and the IP considerations of making research data public.  

 

Read Alice's report about attending DHOxSS2019.

Manwen Zhang, MPhil student of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, University of Oxford

Workshop: From Text to Tech

My research interest is about linguistic structures (syntax and morphology) of an endangered language in Northeastern China and my main goal is to record and analyze this language thoroughly, and to apply its theoretical knowledge to formal linguistics and computational linguistics. In order to analyze this language, I will need to sort out my own data and data in a few corpora. The non-digital techniques which I mainly used in the past are not sufficient enough now because I am dealing with much larger sets of data. For my own data, I believe that it is important for me to learn digital techniques because I need to organize my data more efficiently; for data in corpora, I believe that learning digital techniques will be extremely helpful since the numbers of data sets is too large for non-digital techniques. By learning about Python in “From Text to Tech”, I believe that it can help me do my research faster and at larger scale. After attending DHOxSS 2019, I expect that I will be able to apply digital techniques independently throughout my work, and to apply them to other interdisciplinary fields in the future as well. Moreover, I hope that this one-week summer school will be a starting point for me on the path of digital techniques’ usages.

Read Manwen's report about attending DHOxSS2019

Irina Pavlova, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford

Workshop: Applied Data Analysis

I am doing a DPhil in digital literary studies of Russian drama texts. I want to focus on studying interactions between characters and researching the concept of a main character – a protagonist. The two most popular approaches of characters formalisation are social-network-based and text-based. There is scholarship investigating how these techniques of fiction texts’ representation can be used for identifying a protagonist or, anthropologically thinking, the most important individual in a given society. I am going to compare how the results of these methods correlate with readers intuition, and how they are different from anthropological studies of real-life communities.  There are multiple ways of how I will benefit from the Summer School, as I hope to:  -    enhance my knowledge of social network analysis and text mining methods  -    study real-life data networks to compare them to the networks in fiction texts  -    be introduced to the tidy approach, which is important to adhere to when working with natural language texts  -    discuss the concept of smart data as fiction texts corpora are often not big (data)  -    know more about data visualisation which is useful for drama texts as they have particular structure  -    be able to share my current results and ideas and discuss them with digital humanities experts  I also work on other NLP tasks such as topic modeling and sentiment analysis, so it would be great to gain more expertise in it from the workshop’s convenors.

Read Irina's report on attending DHOxSS2019

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