The Web Library for this issue of Common-place features insights by four early-career scholars who work at the intersection of early American studies and the digital humanities… These scholars of early American literature, history, and culture were asked to respond to a series of questions about their experiences working in the digital humanities (DH), how those…

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An extended survey of digital initiatives in arts and humanities practices in India was undertaken during the last year. Provocatively called ‘mapping digital humanities in India’, this enquiry began with the term ‘digital humanities’ itself, as a ‘found’ name for which one needs to excavate some meaning, context, and location in India at the present…

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Social science explores human interaction. So, now that we have data on virtually every type of human interaction, can we, once and for all, see exactly how human society works? Sort of. The potential of “big data” is enormous. But data by themselves are not enough. In this essay, I will argue that research still…

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Kellen Funk and I have just published an article titled “A Servile Copy: Text Reuse and Medium Data in American Civil Procedure” (PDF). The article is a brief invited contribution to a forum in Rechtsgeschichte [Legal History] on legal history and digital history. Kellen and I give an overview of our project to discover how nineteenth-century codes of…

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This notebook illustrates some of the behaviors of the singular value decomposition of time series data. I’ve written it in part as a response to a paper by Andrew J. Reagan, Lewis Mitchell, Dilan Kiley, Christopher M. Danforth, and Peter Sheridan Dodds recapitulating an argument first made by Matt Jockers: that certain kinds of eigendecompositions…

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In 1861, the census for the colony of New South Wales (as it was back then) recorded just one Chinese woman living in Balmain in Sydney. The historian Eric Rolls, writing in 1992, commented that this ‘lone woman is exceptional and inexplicable’. Inexplicable? My partner and collaborator Kate Bagnall is a historian of Chinese Australia and…

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