eHumanities Content and Technology (CCCT) Seminar

Computational Humanities Annual Symposium


September 4, 2014. 14.00! – 17.30 hrs.

Can computers tell the difference between a good and a bad novel, using methods for determining syntactic complexity? Will historians soon have access to all of the Dutch census data, enabling them to identify and analyse instances of ‘concept drift’ without ever leaving their offices? Using insights from machine learning, can we teach computers to recognize motifs in Dutch folktales and folksongs? Can natural language processing techniques identify a plausible version of the Indonesian elite from the more than 10,000 names that appear in a ten-year newspaper corpus?

Join us on 4 September to find the answers to these questions and many more. Of course, these simple questions don’t do justice to the rich research underpinning the possible answers to these and other more complex questions.

In late 2011, the first of four projects in ‘computational humanities’ got started. Now all four are in full swing. The afternoon will include presentations by the PhDs and postdocs doing the important research work. Each presentation will be followed by a short comment by one of the project leaders, reflecting on how the work so far has confirmed or challenged their original expectations.

The four projects are (more details on our website):

  • The Riddle of Literary Quality
  • CEDAR, Dutch census data in a web of global cultural and historic information
  • Tunes & Tales, Modeling oral transmission
  • Elite Network Shifts during regime change

During the afternoon, researchers from each project will provide an update on their work to date, drawing attention to research problems and questions that still need attention. This will be followed by a short reflection from one of the original applicants about how the project has confirmed or deviated from original expectations – the person whose name appears in brackets below.


14.00                    doors open & coffee

14.10-14.15        Welcome and introduction by Sally Wyatt, Programme Leader of eHumanities Group,

14.15-14.45        Tunes & Tales, Modeling Oral Transmission –Berit Janssen, Folgert Karsdorp & Peter van Kranenburg (Theo Meder)

14.45-15.15        The Riddle of Literary Quality – Andreas van Cranenburgh & Corina Koolen (Karina van Dalen)

15.15-15.45         Elite Network Shifts during regime change – Vincent Traag (Gerry van Klinken)

15.45-16.00         break

16.00-16.30        CEDAR, Dutch census data in a web of global cultural and historic information – Ashkan Ashkpour & Albert Meroño-Peñuela (Christophe Guéret & Andrea Scharnhorst)

16.30-17.00         General discussion

17.00-17.30        Update on CLARIAH by Henk Wals (director of International Institute for Social History and member of CLARIAH board. Click here for more details about CLARIAH.)

Update on CHAT by Sally Wyatt (chair of CHAT White Paper writing group. More details and available for download.)

17.30 onwards   Drinks


Location: Symposiumzaal, Meertens Institute