Category: History

How Does History Count? Exploring Japanese-American Internment through Digital Sources

On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 authorized the detention of around 110,000 people of Japanese descent, most of them American citizens living on the west coast. On the basis of ethnicity alone, having committed no crime, and given no trial, they were stripped of their rights and forcibly relocated to several detention centers, where they lived for up to four years surrounded by barbed wire and watched by armed guards. Many documents, images, and other materials that survive from this terrible episode of U.S. history are now available online. In this data science connector course, students will learn emerging digital methods for conducting historical research, which they will apply to the study of Japanese-American Internment. Classroom exercises will be hands-on and involve working directly with primary sources, using and expanding upon skills learned in the Foundations of Data Science class.

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Text Analysis for Digital Humanists and Social Scientists

Increasingly, humanity’s cultural material is being captured and stored in the form of electronic text. From historical documents, literature and poems, diaries, political speeches, and government documents, to emails, text messages, and social media, students from the humanities and social sciences now have access to immense amounts of rich, and diverse, text. This course will introduce students to cutting edge ways of structuring, analyzing, and interpreting digitized text-as-data, and will do so by exploring questions fundamental to the humanities and social sciences.

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Caitlin Rosenthal

Caitlin Rosenthal is a historian of 18th and 19th century U.S. history. Her work focuses on the development of management practices and seeks to blend methods and insights from business history, economic history, and labor history.  Her current book project, tentatively titled From Slavery to Scientific Management (under contract at Harvard University Press) investigates the complex relationship between slavery and capitalism in American history.

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Cathryn Carson

Cathryn Carson is a historian and ethnographer of contemporary science and technology. Before getting her PhD in history, she was trained in computational condensed matter physics. As Associate Dean of Social Sciences, she built D-Lab, which opened in 2013 and serves social scientists (and others) across campus doing data-intensive research. Her historical research is on Heidegger and science, including theoretical physics and conceptions of data and on risk and simulations in nuclear waste management.

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Louisiana Purchases: The Indian Treaty System in the Missouri River Valley,1804-1859

“Louisiana Purchases: The Indian Treaty System in the Missouri River Valley,1804-1859” combines traditional archival methods with GIS to examine the settler colonial transformation of the lower Missouri River Valley in the first half of the nineteenth century. The project’s digital components involve designing new visualizations of territorial conquest and demographic change in the trans-Mississippi West.

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Vietnamese Intellectual Networks Database

The Vietnamese Intellectual Networks Database provides detailed data regarding key Vietnamese intellectuals, their geographic movement, and their intellectual networks. Based on primary and secondary sources, the database seeks to highlight the historical nuances of each trip by charting modes of transit, activities in situ, and engagements between intellectuals. In this way, this database thus would form a nucleus for ongoing spatial research into Vietnamese intellectual networks.

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The Rise of the Chinese Meritocracy: A Digital Approach to the Study of Cultural Change in Tenth-Century China

This project explores the sudden appearance in the 10th c. of a meritocratic culture that transformed Chinese elite society and constituted the ideological foundation of China's famous civil service exams. My earlier work used GIS, social network analysis, and a very large biographical database to explain the physical demise of China’s aristocracy. This project now complements that sociopolitical research with a study that explains the accompanying cultural change as a product of the rampant migration of the era.

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