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Thursday, May 12 • 11:45am - 2:00pm
Maps and Models

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Maps and Models I: Power

Mapping and modeling networks of power is the focus of this session. The papers present projects that examine discourses of belief and doubt, race and internment, empire and insurgency, the circulation of gossip, news and journalism, and affect and the built environment.



Presenters include:


1). Jacob Lassin

Discourses of Belief and Doubt: Topic Modeling a Russian Orthodox Magazine


I will topic model the website of the Russian Orthodox magazine Foma which is billed as a "magazine for doubters." It is a magazine that is geared towards a sort of Orthodox "educated elite" or new Orthodox intelligentsia. I believe that topic modeling will provide me with a better sense of the sorts of discourses that are present in this journal with regards to Russian politics, history and its cultural heritage as a means of better understanding the concerns and foci of this Orthodox "educated elite." This method allows me to cover far more ground I would be able to do just reading on my own. To accomplish this I will use web scraping to be able to process the articles as plain text and be able to run them through Mallet and new packages developed by Ted Underwood. With this project I will address similar issues as other members of the panel who are also concerned with textual analysis as we discuss approaches of extracting and cleaning data, theoretical questions about what topic modeling can actually teach us and how to move from Mallet to a website where information can be accessed and explored in greater depth in each topic.


2). Courtney Sato

Curating Japanese American Internment and “Negative Cultural Heritage” Online


The WWII internment of Japanese Americans continues to reverberate in contemporary American life. Recent incidents suggest that Japanese American internment remains a little-understood historical footnote. At present there is no cohesive online platform for understanding this history, a void this project seeks to fill.  This project combines digital methodologies for curating and delivering content with the aims of serving a broader public beyond the university. In rendering certain archival materials accessible through this website, this project seeks to reexamine the ways we are taught to read or interact with university archives and library collections—especially those dealing with “negative cultural history” like internment. This project asks: how might one navigate such collections in new and diverse ways that extend beyond the conventional finding aid and individual “box” of materials one encounters in the reading room? What circuits have these objects traversed to end up in a university archive? What are the questions of copyright and ethics at stake in the collection of sensitive, “cultural heritage” materials like those featured in Yale University’s internment collections? How might a digital platform allow users to interact with the collections through mapping, the overlay of metadata, or topic model to ask novel questions?


3). Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn

Charting a Global Atlas of Model Villages and Counterinsurgency


In 1982, Israeli advisors trained the Guatemalan military to build model villages throughout the countryside as a method of “soft” counterinsurgency. Advisors invoked the success of the British army in suppressing the 1885 Burmese War. I will map locations that colonial progenitors of the model village describe within declassified documents, using a map-based interface. Moving from the American Occupation in the Philippines and Vietnam to Algeria and Burma, the project will create a digital library that includes primary and secondary source material linked to each country where models village was used. The project contributes, in both empirical and conceptual ways, to the increasing trend in scholarship to situate research on Israel/Palestine within a global context. This project facilitates and promotes empirical research on this question by building a centralized archive of hitherto scattered primary and secondary source documents. My approach opens an alternative conceptual framework on the conflict, one that opens up new avenues of thinking through Israel/Palestine on a global level. While dominant exceptionalist narratives of the conflict obscure influential forces taking place outside of its nation-state boundaries, the digital collection’s map-based interface will unveil the global networks and transnational matrices of power that are embedded in and critical to understanding the conflict.


4). Nick Frisch

The Evolution of Information History in Late Imperial and Early Modern China


I will be using digital methods to parse Notes from the Cottage of Subtle Perception (Yuewei Caotang Biji for short), a collection of approximately 1200 paragraph-long anecdotes, gossip, and observations recorded by Ji Yun (1724–1805), secretary and chief compiler of the Qianlong Emperor. It was highly unusual for a man in Ji Yun's position to produce these proto-journalistic writings, yet they circulated within his lifetime, beyond the coterie of educated men who traditionally constituted China's literary field. More unusual still, the anecdotes are rigorously sourced to contemporaneous figures, dated to or within precise years, linked to exact geographic locations, and laced with editorial comment about the credibility of informants and potential accuracy of the stories. It is divided into five sections which were completed and circulated at various points through Ji's life before final compilation into the Yuewei collection.


Using named entity recognition and network analysis, I will create visualizations that map this text's references across the spatial geography of the Qing empire, the social field of elite Qing literati, and through the decades of Ji Yun's career. This will provide an alternative means of both reading the text, and analyzing its significance (current scholarship views the work as a collection of ghost stories, which is a partial telling). In the process, I hope to develop a working model for parsing Chinese texts that circumvents the limitations of DH tools originally designed for European languages and epistemes, and will support my dissertation work.


5 & 6). Peter Racugglia and Andrew Brown

Infrastructures of Feeling: Literature, Affect, and the Built Environment in Seventeenth-Century London and Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia


This project will use GIS and spatial analysis technologies to examine how infrastructure produces and redirects flows not only of capital, energy, or material resources, but also of affects. Our aim is to visualize both the ways in which the built environments of seventeenth-century London and nineteenth-century Philadelphia were reshaped through large-scale infrastructural projects, and the ways in which literary works differentially encode affective attachments to these changing urban landscapes. Seventeenth-century London and nineteenth-century Philadelphia have each featured prominently in scholarly narratives of urban modernization: the former as the metropole of a colonial and mercantile empire then in its infancy, and the latter as a crucible for distinctly American forms of political debate and public discourse. Indeed, the early history of Philadelphia itself—founded in 1682 by the Quaker politician William Penn, partly in response to ongoing disputes over religious toleration in England—might be said to function as a kind of threshold from which these distinct media cultures can be examined simultaneously. By juxtaposing these two sites, moreover, the project will also attempt to trace broad conceptual shifts in the understanding of the category of “infrastructure” itself across the period, as authors, their publics, and the inhabitants of each city engaged with wide-ranging structural changes in their environment.




Maps and Models II: Aesthetics

This panel focuses on spatializations of aesthetic form through mapping, modeling and other techniques. Papers present projects that examine the economic value of nature, race, big data and social media, film festivals and their global circuits post 1932, reconstruction of the Paris Salon, and the work of Yayoi Kasuma.



Presenters include:


1). Alyssa Battistoni

Mapping Nature’s Value(s): Representing Nature Beyond Capital


“What’s your neighborhood worth”? This is the question asked by the David Suzuki Foundation’s “Putting Natural Capital on the Map” application, which aims to spatially represent the value of nature as measured by the growing field of natural capital economics. The foundation declares that “nature is, of course, priceless”—yet notes that this invocation of intrinsic value isn’t useful to developers and officials who are trying to decide whether and how to develop land. But what other kinds of value might we want to take into account in making such decisions? What are the potential effects of seeing nature as capital? And how might we represent nature's value otherwise?

My project layers different kinds of data atop maps of natural capita


Thursday May 12, 2016 11:45am - 2:00pm MST
COOR L1-18 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Culture and Ethics
  • Session Location COOR L1-18