Essay in American Literature

home_coverI’m pleased to announce that my essay, “The Image of Absence: Archival Silence, Data Visualization, and James Hemings,’ has been published in the December 2013 issue of American Literature (85.4). You can read my essay, along with many other excellent contributions, here.

The Long Arc of Visual Display

On November 20th, 2013, I presented a talk at the Penn Humanities Forum on the long arc of visual display. The abstract is as follows:

We live in what’s been called the “golden age” of data visualization, and yet, the graphical display of information has a long history, one that dates to the Enlightenment and arguably before. This talk will explore the origins and applications (both historical and contemporary) of data visualization techniques. Drawing from the fields of media history, digital humanities, and information visualization, Lauren Klein will introduce several techniques for data visualization, and reflect upon their uses—and their limits—in humanities research and teaching.

I’ve uploaded my slides (minus the embedded movies) to SlideShare, but they can also be viewed below:

Origins and Applications of Data Visualization

keyboardOn Wednesday, November 20th, I’ll be speaking at the Penn Humanities Forum about the origins and applications (both historical and contemporary) of data visualization techniques. The official abstract is as follows:

We live in what’s been called the “golden age” of data visualization, and yet, the graphical display of information has a long history, one that dates to the Enlightenment and arguably before. This talk will explore the origins and applications (both historical and contemporary) of data visualization techniques. Drawing from the fields of media history, digital humanities, and information visualization, Lauren Klein will introduce several techniques for data visualization, and reflect upon their uses—and their limits—in humanities research and teaching.

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.

NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant

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I’m pleased to announce that my project with Jacob Eisenstein, Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing, has been awarded a Digital Humanities Startup Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Our project, TOME, which stands for Interactive TOpic Model and MEtadata Visualization, is a tool to support the interactive exploration and visualization of text-based archives. Drawing upon the technique of topic modeling—that is, a computational method for identifying the themes that recur across a collection of texts—our tool will allow humanities scholars to trace the evolution and circulation of these themes across social networks and over time.

An archive of nineteenth-century antislavery newspapers, characterized by diverse authors and shifting political alliances, will serve as our initial dataset. Our analysis promises to motivate new methods for visualizing topic models and extending their impact. In turn, by applying these methods to these important texts, we hope to illuminate how issues of gender and racial identity affect the development of political ideology in the nineteenth century, and into the present day.

For updates on the TOME project in the coming year (and beyond), check back in on the Digital Humanities Lab website.

Archival Silence, Digital Humanities, and James Hemings

The slides from my November 7th talk at the University of Alabama’s Digital Humanities Center:


 

Below: A chord diagram of people mentioned in letters concerning James Hemings, as mined from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition.

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University of Alabama Talk

On Wednesday, November 8th, I’ll be giving a talk at the University of Alabama’s Digital Scholarship Center.

I’ll be posting the slides from my talk upon my return, but as a preview, here’s John Melish‘s 1822 “Diagram of the United States.” (The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has a larger version).

I’ll also be leading a brown bag the next day, where I’ll discuss the following projects:

 

Two Recent Talks

I gave two talks in April, both of which have now been archived online. Click here to watch the video of my talk at Georgia Tech’s GVU Center, “Digital Humanities, Data Visualization, and James Hemings.”

I gave a related (but distinct) talk at Emory’s Digital Scholarship Commons, “Archival Silence, Digital Humanities, and James Hemings.” You can see an archive of the Tweets here, and a video of the talk here.