Paul Vierthaler specializes in the digital humanities and Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese literature. His current research focuses on late Ming and early Qing literary representations of recent events, late Imperial print culture and history, genre analysis, and authorship studies. His research incorporates a combination of close reading and traditional critical analysis with natural language processing, corpus linguistics, machine learning and unstructured/structured data analysis.
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.
Paul Vierthaler joined the Leiden Institute for Area Studies and Leiden University Centre for Linguistics in Fall 2016 to help found the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities. He earned his PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 2014. He also holds an MA in Asian Studies from Yale (2008), and a BA in Political Science and Chinese from the University of Kansas (2005).
Vierthaler was the 2015-2016 Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston College and a 2014-2015 An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
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