Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities

Staff Members

Overview of Staff Members and Advisory Board Members

Staff

Sjef Barbiers
As a senior researcher on syntactic variation at the Meertens Institute (KNAW) Sjef Barbiers was the project leader of the NWO/FWO project Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (SAND; 2000-2005). He was responsible for the linguistic design of the data collection corresponding to SAND and of the functionality of the digital tools associated with it, in particular the search and geographic visualization tools (DynaSAND). From 2005 until 2010 Sjef Barbiers was the PI of the ESF funded EURYI project European Dialect Syntax (Edisyn), which had as one of its goals to set up an international network of dialect syntax research groups and to create a research infrastrure that would make federated and aggregated search in various dialect syntactic data collections and corpora across Europe possible, and to visualize the search results on geographic maps. From 2009-20015 he was involved in the NWO RoadMap research infrastructure project CLARIN. He was the scientific leader of the small CLARIN project MIMORE in which three dialect data collections were integrated and made searchable with a common search engine. The MIMORE tool also makes set theoretic analysis of search results possible and search results can be depicted on geographic maps. Currently, Sjef Barbiers is involved in three DigHum projects. He is the scientific leader of WP3, the linguistics work package of the NWO RoadMap project CLARIAH. He is one of the leaders of the scientific track of the NWO Groot project Nederlab (research portal for Dutch historical texts) and he is one of the applicants and supervisors of the Leiden University data science project Detecting Syntactic Differences Automatically (DeSDA) carried out by PhD student Martin Kroon.

Paul Vierthaler

Paul Vierthaler specializes in text-mining unstructured natural language documents. A scholar of Chinese literature, Vierthaler uses quantitative digital methodologies to study Ming and Qing dynasty (1368-1911) literature and print history. His current monograph project is a combined qualitative-quantitative study of historical narratives found within quasi-historical genres written in the late Ming to early Qing periods (1550-1700).

Vierthaler’s second project uses sequence alignment, stylometry and machine-learning to visualize and explore the textual history of the late Ming novel the Jin ping mei 金瓶梅 (The Plum in the Golden Vase), which was written in the late sixteenth or early sixteenth century. The end goal of this project is to identify the text’s long elusive author and to adapt these techniques to identify the authors of a wide swath of late imperial anonymously and pseudonymously written books.

Vierthaler teaches a variety of digital methods, from basic natural language processing tasks to more complex methods such as topic modeling and word embedding models. He also has an interest in network analysis and GIS. He teaches courses and leads workshops on using the Python and R programming languages for digital analysis of culture.

In his digital research, Vierthaler is primarily interested in exploring how to adapt quantitative methods for literary and historical studies. Vierthaler’s digital research draws significant inspiration from bioinformatics, and many of the tools he is developing adapt techniques original developed in this field for literary and historical studies.

Vierthaler was the 2015-2016 Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston College in the United States, and a 2014-2015 An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University, which he earned in 2014. He earned a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Yale in 2008, and a Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Language and Culture and Political Science from the University of Kansas in 2005.     

Angus Mol

Angus combines the study of history using a digital approach with the study of how today’s digital cultures are entwined with history. In particular, he looks at how contemporary play functions as a mirror of the past as well as how games can be used to democratize access to the past. He has authored several papers on the topic and crowd-funded The Interactive Past, an Open Access edited volume with chapters from scholars and professionals from the creative industry.

Since his BA and MA in Archaeology, Angus has also had a keen interest in projects that combine social theory, material culture, and digital tools. For instance, he uses network analyses and agent-based models to explore and explain how things and people are entangled over time. The focal point lies on gift-giving across cultural and social boundaries, owing to his PhD and Postdoc research on networks in the culturally diverse, indigenous and colonial Caribbean.

For Mol, the value of digital approaches resides in their use as theory and as tool, and his classes focus on understanding concepts as well as practice. Students will be taught a variety of tools, including network analysis, GIS, information visualization, databases, 3D visualization, and media production, in connection with case-studies or key issues from the breadth of the human and social sciences. Angus is a firm believer in the potential of the past as well as digital technology to positively impact science and society. As a result, knowledge dissemination, public outreach, and current issues feature heavily in all his courses.

Angus is co-founder of VALUE, a foundation that develops and supports initiatives at the interface of academia and video games. Recently, he has worked as the Digital Strategy Coordinator for the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. Before that, he was an NWO-Rubicon, Postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Department of Anthropology. He also undertook post-doctoral research at Leiden University and was a visiting researcher at Konstanz University as part of the NEXUS1492 project.

Advisory Board Members

Rob Goedemans

Rob Goedemans (Ph.D. 1998, Universiteit Leiden), Information Manager at Leiden University and affiliate of the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, conducts research regarding the phonetics, phonology and typology of stress in the languages of the world in general, and the languages of Aboriginal Australia and Indonesia in particular. Apart from work in experimental phonetics and laboratory phonology, which was Digital Humanities before we invented the term, he has been involved in several high-profile typology projects that aimed at storing linguistic information in (interlinked) databases and making these available for the linguistic community. The first of these, STRESSTYP, was built 1991 and put on line by Goedemans in the mid 90’s. The last version of this database is now available at http://st2.ullet.net . A second major project was the World Atlas of Language Structures (http://wals.info/) for which Goedemans, together with Harry van der Hulst produced four maps. The most intricate project on the list is the Typological Database System (http://languagelink.let.uu.nl/tds/), in which a team of researchers have linked several typological databases and made these available online, making sure the separate database identities and individual definitions of linguistic terms stayed intact, while an ontology driven interface provides users with a uniform entry point for queries in which they need not bother about the fact that different databases use different terms for the same thing, or the same term for something slightly different. Several publications about these projects can be found here . Currently, Goedemans manages support for Humanities researchers and teachers in need of IT solutions, and is involved in setting up the Faculty strategies for Digital Humanities, Data Management and Digital Security.

Sybille Lammes

Sybille Lammes is professor of New Media and Digital Culture at The Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) at Leiden University. She has been a visiting Senior Research Fellow at The University of Manchester, and has worked as a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick, as well as the media-studies departments of Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam. Her background is in media-studies and play-studies, which she has always approached from an interdisciplinary angle, including cultural studies, science and technology studies, postcolonial studies, and critical geography. She is co-editor of Playful Identities (2015), Mapping Time (2018), The Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods (2018) and The Playful Citizen (2018 fc.). She is an ERC laureate and has been the PI of numerous research projects. She is a member of the Playful Mapping Collective.

Sjef Barbiers

As a senior researcher on syntactic variation at the Meertens Institute (KNAW) Sjef Barbiers was the project leader of the NWO/FWO project Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (SAND; 2000-2005). He was responsible for the linguistic design of the data collection corresponding to SAND and of the functionality of the digital tools associated with it, in particular the search and geographic visualization tools (DynaSAND). From 2005 until 2010 Sjef Barbiers was the PI of the ESF funded EURYI project European Dialect Syntax (Edisyn), which had as one of its goals to set up an international network of dialect syntax research groups and to create a research infrastrure that would make federated and aggregated search in various dialect syntactic data collections and corpora across Europe possible, and to visualize the search results on geographic maps. From 2009-20015 he was involved in the NWO RoadMap research infrastructure project CLARIN. He was the scientific leader of the small CLARIN project MIMORE in which three dialect data collections were integrated and made searchable with a common search engine. The MIMORE tool also makes set theoretic analysis of search results possible and search results can be depicted on geographic maps. Currently, Sjef Barbiers is involved in three DigHum projects. He is the scientific leader of WP3, the linguistics work package of the NWO RoadMap project CLARIAH. He is one of the leaders of the scientific track of the NWO Groot project Nederlab (research portal for Dutch historical texts) and he is one of the applicants and supervisors of the Leiden University data science project Detecting Syntactic Differences Automatically (DeSDA) carried out by PhD student Martin Kroon.

Felicia Rosu

Felicia Roșu is a lecturer in early modern European history in the Institute for History at Leiden. Her research so far has been mainly focused on east-central European politics and the activities of missionaries at the frontier between Europe and the Ottoman world. The latter topic put her in contact with the DH world: Roșu is currently coordinating a digital edition of sources collected from the Vatican archives, related to the activities of Vincentian missionaries in Europe, North Africa, and Madagascar. The document collection (Vincentian Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century Europe and Africa: A Digital Edition of Sources) is an Omeka-based, almost DIY database with evolving metadata that fits imperfectly within the Dublin Core element set. It began in an XML and TEI environment, which was handled by the enthusiastic team of the now-closed Digital Humanities Observatory (Dublin). When the initial funding period ended, the digital edition—which was an optional component of a larger research project led by Dr. Alison Forrestal at the National University of Ireland, Galway—was far from completed. There were nice spatial and temporal visualizations, but the items did not have any attached transcriptions and the metadata itself needed much more work. Two years later, Roșu and Forrestal decided to revive the database with the help of a new sponsoring institution (DePaul University, Chicago). The Digital Services staff at DePaul recommended moving the data to omeka.net because of the low maintenance, user friendliness, and export capabilities of that platform. Omeka.net offers limited customization and visualization options, but it is a growing platform with an increasing number of plugins; most importantly, it does not require heavy technical assistance and it allows the input of student assistants without requesting much prior training. Despite the limited time that the team members were able to devote to it, the collection grew exponentially. When it started, the online edition had 120 items and no attached transcriptions. Two years later, it had 690 items, 540 attached transcriptions, increasingly complex metadata, and it is still expanding. The project inspired its first student assistant (Thérèse Peeters, Leiden University) to start a PhD on a topic derived from its documents. The collection is a valuable resource not only because of its content, but also because it stimulates reflection on the constraints and rewards of using controlled vocabularies, CSV imports, and Dublin Core elements for research and teaching purposes.​

Dorota Mokrosinska

Dr. Dorota Mokrosinska is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy at Leiden University. She specializes in political philosophy with particular interests in issues related to privacy, transparency and secrecy in democratic governance, political legitimacy, political obligation and democratic theory. Dr Mokrosinska obtained her PhD in philosophy (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam winning the 2008 National Biennial Dissertation Prize awarded by the Dutch Research School in Ethics. She held research positions at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Amsterdam. In Spring/Summer 2013 she was a Departmental Guest at the Department of Politics at Princeton University. In 2014/2015 she worked as a Research Associate at the Department of Political Science of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. She is laureate of an ERC Starting Grant awarded by the European Research Council (2015-2020). She is the director of the ERC StG project entitled “Democratic Secrecy: A Philosophical Study of the Role of Secrecy in Democratic Governance”. (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-projects/humanities/democratic-secrecy).

Henk Borgdorff

Henk Borgdorff is professor of Research in the Arts and Academic Director of the Academy of Creative and Performing Art, Leiden University and professor (‘lector’) at the Royal Conservatoire, University of the Arts, The Hague (The Netherlands). He was professor in Art Theory and Research at the Amsterdam School of the Arts (until 2010), visiting professor in Aesthetics at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg (until 2013), and editor of the Journal for Artistic Research (until 2015). He has published widely on the theoretical and political rationale of research in the arts. A selection is published as The Conflict of the Faculties: Perspectives on Artistic Research and Academia (Leiden University Press 2012). Borgdorff is president of the Society for Artistic Research. Henk Borgdorff is one of the founders of the ‘Research Catalogue’ a digital Open Access multimedia platform for the archiving, publishing and dissemination of research. Together with an international consortium he is preparing a large scale Research and Innovation project: FEDRO – The Research Catalogue as a Federated E-infrastructure for the identification and utilization of Digital Research Objects (H2020 EINFRA-21-2017). See his profile page on the Research Catalogue: www.researchcatalogue.net.

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