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Projects

Grants awarded in 2016

Jonathan Abel, Jennifer Boittin, and Samuel Frederick, "CINEmap: Geotagging Global Cinema"

CINEmap consists of two interrelated digital projects: (1) a database of time-stamped film scenes with their corresponding global coordinates, and (2) an interactive mapping website that represents this data. The film database will store important facts about each film, such as genre; dates of production and release; gender, race, and nationality of actors and directors; as well as diegetic information. By selecting from this data set through the interactive website, scholars and students can produce various (and potentially layered) maps. One would, for instance, be able to produce maps that show in what parts of which cities the majority of new wave films in France, Germany, and Japan were shot; or when mountains become important markers of nation in film history; or even maps that show where gangsters tend to die in 1940s films as opposed to 1970s films. CINEmap will thus be the first research project to crystallize the interconnectedness of cinema and space via a clear visualization. Drawing on CINEmap as a reference and resource, film scholars, historians, and geographers from around the world will be able to make claims about the relationships of certain spaces (cities, studios, countrysides, parks, rivers, etc.) to particular themes (auteurs, poverty, race, gender, violence, etc.).

Thomas Beebee, "Translating Networks"

“Translating Networks” is a project that explores the communities, connections, and influences in contemporary literary translation into English. There are three primary goals of Translating Networks: 1) building a comprehensive, open, and constantly updating database of translation data for English translations of literary publications since 2008; 2) constructing a user interface for the database; and 3) deploying network analysis and graph theory methodologies to analyze literary translation networks.

Jonathan Brockopp, "The Manuscripts of Kairouan, Tunisia"

The National Laboratory for the Preservation of Parchment Manuscripts in Raqqada, Tunisia, holds one of the most important collections of Arabic manuscripts in the world, including twenty-three of the thirty oldest, dated literary Arabic manuscripts. Two of these are on paper, exceedingly rare examples of a technology that reached Europe only centuries later. While the Laboratory personnel are devoted to the collection, the Ministry of Culture does not place high priority on these manuscripts, resulting in outdated equipment, training, and methods. Together with Dr. Walid Saleh (Toronto), Dr. Nejmeddine Hentati (Tunis), and Dr. Wes Thiessen (Kairouan), I propose a major international project to digitize and preserve these irreplaceable treasures. Recent attacks by militants in Mali, Syria, and Iraq have explicitly targeted repositories of cultural heritage, similar to this collection, and militants have recently stepped up their attacks on tourists and police in Tunisia. An intervention now will help to prevent disaster by making digital copies of this collection while also strengthening ties among Tunisian, European, and North American researchers. 

Ronnie Hsia, "Personality Theory and Personnel Policy in the Society of Jesus, 16th-18th Centuries"

This proposal aims to carry out a pilot study: evaluate all extant triennial reports from the Jesuit China Mission and correlate the results with the career paths of Jesuit missionaries between 1582 and 1773. With the help of a specialist in the digital humanities, I will construct a prosopographical database using a relational database management system. Data on age cohort, nationality, psychological trait, and status with the Society of Jesus will form the variables. I am especially interested in the use of personality theories in personnel evaluation. Using the Galenic scheme of Four Humors, Jesuit superiors were instructed to evaluate their subordinates according to phlegm, choler, melancholy, and sanguinity. Particular personality types were understood to be suitable for intellectual work or leadership roles. While the theory of humor has been studied by intellectual historians, it has never been analyzed as a theory in action. The application of digital analysis to this large dataset will provide an opportunity.

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