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Hester Baer named MITH Fellow

MITH is pleased to announce that Hester Baer, Vambery Distinguished Professor of Comparative Studies for the 2014-15 academic year, has also been named a MITH Fellow for the same period.  During her fellowship year, Hester will be working on her project, Digital Feminisms: Transnational Activism in German Protest Cultures.

Hester Baer is Associate Professor of German at the University of Maryland, where she also serves as a core faculty member in the Film Studies program. . . . Continue Reading

Asking Questions of Lots of Text with Weka

Adrian Hamins-Puertolas and Adam Elrafei are students in Team POLITIC, an undergraduate research team in the University of Maryland’s GEMSTONE honors research-focused honors college, mentored by MITH Faculty Fellow Peter Mallios.

Our undergraduate research team uses newly developed technology to understand and quantify how American audiences received Russian authors in the early 1920s. One of the tools we’re exploring is Weka, a collection of machine-learning algorithms that can be used to mine data-sets. . . . Continue Reading

Answering the Mail: Digital Mishnah Project Update

I had promised to respond to comments on the Digital Mishnah demo, so, at long last, here goes.

  1. Request for greater highlighting of collation options (Tim Finney). In fact, CollateX has several alignment methods built into libraries that can be utilized. This is outside of what I feel comfortable talking about (I don’t really read Java … yet) but there is no reason we can’t allow users to select methods and see what yields the best results. . . . Continue Reading

An Undergraduate View of Data Mining with WEKA

Manpreet Khural is an undergraduate member of the Gemstone POLITIC undergraduate research team, led by MITH Faculty Fellow Peter Mallios.

As we, Team POLITIC of Gemstone, make progress in the effort of utilizing data mining tools such as Weka, it becomes more evident that such a technological approach provides a goldmine of new information that would be otherwise impossible to obtain. . . . Continue Reading

Drowning in Texts

The comments on the Digital Mishnah demo deserve a full response (although the short response is: thank you and, in almost all cases, I agree). However, for this post I want to report on progress in getting and identifying texts for the extended demo. We have made the decision to build out from the sample chapter in Bava Metsi’a to all of tractate Neziqin (the “Bavot”), a 30-chapter and 13-14,000-word base text to work with. . . . Continue Reading

Digital Mishnah: Summer Update

In addition to getting the demo ready to go live–it’s ready to go!–this summer’s agenda has been to add texts and add reference material.
We now have two sets of reference data ready to implement. The heavy lifting for this was done by Atara Siegel, an undergraduate at Stern College, who worked for me for several weeks this summer. . . . Continue Reading

Almost Ready for Prime Time

We now have two versions of a demos up and ready to run. Both allow a user to pull data from the witness files, containing manuscript transcriptions, select texts to compare, run the texts through a version of CollateX, then present the results as an alignment table (a “synopsis” in or “partitur” in some text-critical dialects), and as a text with apparatus. . . . Continue Reading

On Fish, FLA, and the Digital Humanities

My friend Sarah Wasserman, who is finishing up a brilliant dissertation on the idea and instances of ephemerality in 20th century American literature, recently sent me a couple of online columns written by Stanley Fish a few months back on the subject on the subject of blogs and the digital humanities.

Ephemerality has something to do with why Sarah sent these columns to me, but let me keep the precise reason on hold for a moment so that I can get on the table the three basic claims Fish makes about the digital humanities. . . . Continue Reading