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Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities

Current PhD Research Projects

PhD Research Projects at LUCDH and Affiliated Faculties

Archaeology Applied to Technology: Learning Through Interactive Simulation

The main objective of this Ph.D. project is the development of a three-dimensional simulator, both in the bibliographic and practical parts, with new approaches and research models that can offer new parameters to archaeological interpretation. Furthermore, based on specialized bibliography about digital humanities, archaeogaming, cyberarchaeology, and acting with the photo banks of the sites of physical archaeological sites, resources will be sought to enable the creation of the learning tool characterized by the digital archaeological simulator for elementary and high school students who want to learn archaeology in a playful way.

Link to Brazilian research groups
Interactive Archaeology and Electronic Simulations (ARISE): www.arise.mae.usp.br
Laboratory for Roman Provincial Archaeology (LARP): www.larp.mae.usp.br

Leiden University Profile

Brazilian Lattes Profile

Press start to travel through time: understanding the mechanics that shape history in video games

This PhD research is part of the Playful Time Machines project, which seeks to better understand the manner in which video games are (re)shaping our relationships within the past. The question I seek to answer one day is what mechanics are used in the game designs to create the past and how those mechanics structure our engagement with the past in the present. 

Part of the solution lies in creating solutions for cross-disciplinary communication, between academics, game makers, and, of course, the players of these games. In order to do so, I will make use of common conceptual and methodological frameworks. Lastly, it is important to share the results with important focus-groups, such as the game makers, players, and heritage stakeholders to facilitate discussions and specify the ideas even further. 

The broader goal of this research is to better understand the mechanics of history, communicate insights and ideas to a broad audience and to enrich and diversify these playful time machines.

For further information, see the project page at: https://playfultimemachines.com/

Korean Print Culture

During the 1920s, a new era of modern Korean print culture emerged following a period of strict colonial rule by Japan. The production of books, newspapers, and magazines experienced significant growth during this time, with printshops playing a crucial role in this development. This research delves into the application of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to identify the printshops of books published in colonial Korea, thereby enabling a quantitative study of the printshops of that period.

Technocratic Reasoning in Dutch Parliamentary Debate (1917-1994)

In my dissertation project I study technocratic reasoning in parliamentary debates. I ask how expertise has become such an important feature of our political system. How has knowledge influenced the way we debate democratically? How has parliament reacted to the pressures of technocracy? Using computational methods, I hope to find an answer to these questions.

Link to personal page: www.rubenros.nl 

Tweede Kamer, Regeringsverklaringen (Wikimedia, Nationaal Archief, 1978. Credit Anefo press bureau)
Tweede Kamer, Regeringsverklaringen (Wikimedia, Nationaal Archief, 1978. Credit Anefo press bureau)

Historical narratives and representations in the medium of video games and their reception through Let's Play videos

The dissertation investigates how various First World War video games released around the conflicts centenary are experienced, consumed and negotiated when it comes to their reception. The analysis combines multiple levels of analysis from individual autoethnographic level, through more macro close and distant reading of Let's Play videos and the comment sections under these videos using VADER nltk sentiment analysis.

Playful Time Machines: Navigating Experiences of Past-Play

This dissertation, undertaken as part of the Playful Time Machines project, seeks to investigate how players interact with elements related to the past--characters, settings, and processes--during play, how this interaction differs across different genres of play and players, and what the immediate effects of this interaction are on players' understanding and valuation of the past. Drawing on Historical Game Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Affect Theory, and Conversation Analysis, this research aims to evaluate participant play in controlled settings, combining Sociolinguistics methods with Digital Humanities tools and post-launch Games User Research. The broader goal of the dissertation is to explore past-play environments as ways of shaping personal and collective understandings of the past as well as sites that facilitate processes of affective involvement and history-making.

See also: https://playfultimemachines.com/


Digital Thesauri as Semantic Treasure Troves: A Linguistic Linked Data Approach to A Thesaurus of Old English

"Change, alter, or perhaps transform?'' Selecting the perfect word for a specific context, such as when composing a report or a speech, is all the easier with a thesaurus at hand. These lexicographic resources are invaluable for looking up alternative words or phrases that convey a specific meaning. In addition, thesauri offer a number of uses beyond looking up alternative phrasings: they are veritable treasure troves for cultural, linguistic, anthropological, and literary-critical research -- especially when these resources are arranged in a topical fashion, a hierarchical ordering of its groups of loosely synonymous words according to their meaning.

This research investigates how dissemination on the Web of historical language thesauri can be improved to facilitate academic explorations of language and culture. As part of the Exploring Early Medieval English Eloquence project, a number of researchers have engaged with A Thesaurus of Old English expressed in a Linguistic Linked Data form and made available through the new web application Evoke. The results demonstrate that both the new dissemination form and web application can offer new ways in which to explore and analyze thesaurus content of this early medieval variant of the English language. These new explorations show that thesauri are by no means exhausted by previous investigations.

Personal project: evoke.ullet.net/events

Special issue EEMEE: Exploring Early Medieval English Eloquence

Measuring Tonal Distances using Dialect Tonometry (TBC)

My PhD project involves using computational methods and cartographic techniques to explore, visualise and analyse dialectal variation. 

My primary focus of this project is to develop a tone distance metric which allows dialectologists to calculate dialect distances on the tonal level. In addition, I will address dialectological questions such as "do dialect boundaries exist?" and "do certain features co-occur within certain dialects?" for both tonal and segmental levels, using Yue as my case study. I will also revisit the classification of Yue dialects (internal classification within Yue, and the Yue-Pinghua dichotomy). 

See personal TBC project page here.

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