SHANTI at the University of Virginia

DH Speaker Series: Paul Vierthaler

October 3rd, 2018

Paul Vierthaler Lecture

Where Did All These Rumors Come From? Computationally
Identifying Intertextuality and Machine-Classifying
Its Source in a Late Imperial Chinese Corpus”

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Brooks Hall
Authors of late imperial Chinese quasi-historical documents recycled text with little regard for specifying their sources or maintaining fidelity to them. Identifying these instances of intertextuality provides a valuable window into how historical information transformed as it propagated through texts. Yet the mechanics of this transmission can be difficult to assess because of textual attrition and often limited publication information for extant documents. As such, it is often unclear which document is quoting which. In this talk, Paul Vierthaler will briefly introduce a method for extracting these ubiquitous instances of intertextuality and describe his current research in applying machine learning algorithms to predict the text of origin for any given quote.

Paul Vierthaler of the University of Leiden specializes in the digital humanities and Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese literature. His current research focuses on late Ming and early Qing literary representations of recent events, late Imperial print culture and history, genre analysis, and authorship studies. His research incorporates a combination of close reading and traditional critical analysis with natural language processing, corpus linguistics, machine learning and unstructured/structured data analysis.

  • Lecture at 4pm on Thursday, October 11 in Brooks Hall: We’ll be hearing a talk from an important DH voice, Paul Vierthaler, whose work on stylometry and intertextuality description in late Imperial Chinese literature is not only technically quite clear but also broadly useful for literary analysis.
      • Title of talk: “Where Did All These Rumors Come From?  Computationally Identifying Intertextuality and Machine-Classifying Its Source in a Late Imperial Chinese Culture”
      • More about Paul Vierthaler: Paul Vierthaler is a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of the Digital Humanities at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In his current monograph project, he analyzes how historical events are represented in “quasi-histories” written in late imperial China. His stylometric work brings new insights to the study of genre and intertextuality.
  • Mixer at 5:30 in the same space: We will celebrate the kickoff of the new DH Certificate program with delicious nibbles and drinks from Harvest Moon, whose food is always amazing and bountiful. Register here. (We just ask you to register so that we can give the caterer a head count; feel free to drop in at the last minute even if you don’t register.)

Sponsoring Organization(s):

Francesca Fiorani, Associate Dean, College and and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Archie Holmes, Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs
Ron Hutchins, Vice President for Information Technology
John Unsworth, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
Institute of Global Cultures and the Humanities

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