The 2021 Bass Connections team for the Ethical Consumption Before Capitalism Project and representatives from the Data+ 2021 teams for the Constructing Utopias in Restoration London and Ethical Consumption Before Capitalism Summer Projects have been accepted to present their work at the NeMLA (North East MLA conference) Undergraduate Research Forum in March 2022. This will be the second year Duke students have participated, and last year’s group won first prize for interdisciplinary research.
Students from the Data+ 2021 teams worked for ten weeks to produce public-facing visualizations based on compiled data, that which was drawn by conducting word processing methods on large-scale collections of early modern texts.
Nicholas Smolenski, PhD Candidate in musicology and Project Lead for the Constructing Utopias team, found the collaborative environment of Data+ both rewarding and instructive: “mentoring the team of undergraduate students was an inspiring enterprise, not only because of their willingness to dive headfirst into ground-breaking and interdisciplinary digital humanities scholarship, but also because of their ability to build synergy and comradery in order to produce a truly collaborative project. This experience has changed the way I approach teaching and pedagogy for the better, with increased focus on project-based learning and building intellectual communities with students.”
A Folger Seminar on the theme “Out of the Archives: Digital Projects as Early Modern Research Objects” will be sponsored by the Folger and NC State University in March 2022. This exhibition, occurring during the week of March 7, is intended to showcase innovative digital work in Early Modern studies being done at State and at partner institutions and will be housed in a new space in NC State University’s D.H. Hill Library, The Innovation Studio. The work coming from the past two years of Medieval and Renaissance Data+ and this year’s Bass Connections projects will also be a part of this exhibit; topic modeling, hapax richness, and sentiment analysis are some of the computational techniques employed in these projects in order to demonstrate the cultural and political connections between texts, languages, and images circulated throughout the early modern period.
We wish our Duke teams luck and look forward to hearing more about the conference this Spring!