University of Pittsburgh

Department Publications

Lectures and Symposia

Visit of Tim Hitchcock, Professor of Digital History, University of Sussex, UK. A Berkeley-and Oxford-trained historian of eighteenth-century Britain, and pioneer in DH in the UK, Hitchcock helped create websites to give public access to 30 billion words of primary sources evidencing the history of Britain. Chair, Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Digital Transformations Working Group. Co-PI on AHRC-funded project, “The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments, 1780-1925.”

Lecture: The Digital Humanities in Three Dimensions

By combining text, time, place and space we can change how we understand the leavings of the dead. Most scholars treat inherited text as a straightforward encoding of language and thought; but the full meaning of every word is dependent on its specific context. Words uttered in a church are different to the same words addressed to a court or a confidant. Words uttered in 1780 are different to the same words in 1840; and words spoken by a twenty year old woman, are different again to the same words emerging from the mouth of a 40 year old man. By treating the 127 million words published in the Old Bailey Proceedings as a complex collection of statements (spoken, written and published), and by locating those words in the changing physical space of the Old Bailey courtroom, and in the mouths of the ever changing crowd in the dock, this presentation will sugest how 'big data', 3D modelling, prosopography and corpus linguistics, can be combined to create a different understanding of the dead. In the process it seeks to challenge the artificial boundaries that silo the flavours of the Digtial Humanities - to challenge the distinction between approaches that priviledge text over image, time over place, and 'big data' over close reading.

May 4, 2016
4:00 pm
Department of History Lounge
3703 Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh

Workshop: Words, Space and Place: Tools for Squeezing the Dead
This “hands-on” workshop will offer an introduction to Voyant Tools, 3d modelling, and Locating London's Past and Digital Harlem, with commentary on the intellectual limitations of each approach. Participants are strongly advised to bring a laptop.

Pre-registration will be required. Details to follow.

May 5, 2016
10:00 am
University Library [details TBC]
University of Pittsburgh