CDH Dataset Curation Grant Awards

As we look forward to the beginning of the Year of Data (AY 2018-2019), we are happy to announce the six successful recipients of CDH's inaugural Dataset Curation Grants. The recipients and their teams will join the CDH community in a year-long conversation about the methodological, cultural and social questions raised by the collection, management and interpretation of data in the humanities. Here is a snapshot of the projects supported by the Dataset Curation Grants:

Meredith Martin (English Department): Expanding the Archive

Continuing the collaboration between the Princeton Prosody Archive (PPA) and the CDH, the team will integrate works of prosody into the digital archive. The PPA raises questions about the study of poetics, the technology of poetic language, and the history of English literature prior to its institutionalisation in the late nineteenth century. Expanding the PPA archive will set the ground for advanced computational analyses of the material, while engaging researchers in critical reflection regarding the organizing, navigating and conceptualizing of large amounts of data.Meredith Martin is Associate Professor of English at Princeton, as well as Faculty Director of the Center for Digital Humanities. She specialises in anglophone poetry, historical prosody and poetics, and pedagogical history.

Keith Wailoo (History Department): Selling Menthol: Visualizing Big Tobacco’s Targeted Market Strategies

The project focuses on the curating data from the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Archive, housed at the University of California, which contains millions of files on America’s tobacco history. With the support of undergraduate research assistants, the project will investigate how the tobacco industry’s marketing strategies, especially regarding the sale of menthol products, relate to capitalism, race, gender, and health policies.

Keith Wailoo is Henry Putnam Professor of History and Public Affairs. He is the chair of the History Department and is jointly appointed at the Woodrow Wilson School. His work centres on the combination of history and health policy.

Anna Shields & Xin Wen (East Asian Studies): Building a Comparative Database for the Study of the Old and New Tang Histories

The Old and New Tang Histories are among the most important sources for the study of the Tang period in China. The project aims to build a comparative database that will allow scholars to visualise and analyse information from the two Histories, while opening the way for the application of DH methods such as network and mapping analysis. This project comes at a time of thriving scholarship on medieval China and will connect scholars and students at Princeton with other DH projects across the academic world community.

Anna Shields and Xin Wen are faculty members of the Department of East Asian Studies and are experts on the history of pre-modern China.

Merle Eisenberg (History Department): The Justinianic Plague

The sixth-century Justinianic plague, with it’s death toll of about 25 million, was one of the most catastrophic epidemics in the history of humankind. This Dataset Curation grant will support the development of a standardised, open-access repository of data on the plague which will serve as a reference resource for scholars and a useful tool for research on other plague occurrences throughout history. The project is part of Princeton’s interdisciplinary Climate Change & History Research Initiative which investigates the impact of climate change on the societies of the Mediterranean and the Eastern Eurasian steppe over two millennia of history.

Merle Eisenberg is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the History Department and a fellow of the Religion Department. His research focuses on the period of transformation from late Roman rule to the middle ages in Gaul.

Janet Kay (Society of Fellows): Finding the Fifth Century in Britain

Janet Kay’s project focuses on the late antique period in Britain by analysing the archaeological dataset of burial sites from more than a hundred fifth-century cemeteries. What do archaeological remains from burials tell us about the people living in Britain in that transitional period, and about their perception of historical change? The data will form the basis of an open-access repository of sources connected to the UK’s Archaeological Data Service.

Janet Kay is a member of the Society of Fellows for the Liberal Arts at Princeton, and uses archaeological methods and data to study the history of early medieval Britain.

Wendy Laura Belcher (Comparative Literature, African American Studies): Ethiopian Miracles of the Mary

Wendy Belcher’s Dataset Curation grant is part of a project to create a comprehensive resource for the medieval Ethiopian Täˀammərä Maryam (Miracles of Mary) tales. Drawing on manuscripts from the exceptional Ethiopic Manuscript Collection in Princeton’s Rare Books and Special Collections, Belcher’s project will provide information about the history of miracle tales across regions, languages, and cultures to enable better scholarship, provide Ethiopians access to their patrimony, and raise awareness about the beauty, breadth, and variety of these vital works of early African literature. Belcher’s project is also supported by a CDH Public Digital Humanities grant, pairing the creation of the database with an outreach program addressed at engaging the Ethiopian Orthodox community.

Wendy L. Belcher is Associate Professor of African Literature with a joint appointment in the Department of Comparative Literature and the African American Studies Program. Her work lies at the intersection of diaspora, postcolonial, and eighteenth-century studies, with a special focus on the literatures of Ethiopia and Ghana.

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