We are pleased to announce the appointment of our Methods Fellows for the academic year 2022/23. Each Fellow will share their expertise in methods or practices relevant to DH research, will design and deliver a series of workshop sessions, work on DH projects, and be active in the growing CDH community.

Methods Fellows

Estara Arrant is a Postdoctoral Research Associate based at the Cambridge University Library in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit. Estara is a linguist and medievalist whose research interests centre around using data science, applied mathematics, and computer science tools to solve long-standing problems in the fields of Semitic linguistics, religious textual studies, and medieval Middle Eastern History. In her PhD of Hebrew and Jewish studies she developed a methodology using machine learning and pioneered the methodological combination of a specific group of algorithms to complement each other and elicit the greatest amount of insight. Estara plans to teach the use of three fundamental, complementary machine learning algorithms appropriate for categorical data, which are useful for scholars in the Humanities who want to get the most out of complex, multifaceted data.

Leah Brainerd / Alex Gushurt-Moore.

Leah Brainerd is a PhD researcher with the Department of Archaeology (Newnham College). She is a member of the ERC Encounter project where her research project focuses on the impact paleoclimate had on the introduction of agriculture in Japan through ecological modelling. She also has a MSc in Computational Archaeology from UCL where she learned numerous computational methods and her research involved agent based modelling. Her research interests include computational archaeology, cultural evolution, and anthropological archaeology. Particularly, Leah is interested in questions about human decision-making processes and cultural transmission, be it in past environments or modern ones.

Alex Gushurst-Moore finished her PhD on late Victorian art and literature in 2021. She is currently Research & Impact Coordinator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Coordinator of the research network Cambridge Visual Culture, and Co-Convenor of the Paul Mellon Centre’s ECR Network for 2022/23. Her research interests include fantasy studies, interdisciplinary literature and arts research, and the role of women in fin-de-siecle art cultures. Her preferred research methodology has a heavy structuralist bent, which forays into the pattern-mapping territory of cultural evolutionary theory. Building on the work of scholars such as Roland Barthes, Tzvetan Todorov, and Mieke Bal, she is interested in the observation of recurring themes, motifs, and other patterns in cultural products. She was the University of Florida’s Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellow in February 2022, during which time she conducted research on the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.

Leah and Alex will jointly deliver a workshop focusing on methodologies that align with the field of cultural evolution, helping participants to develop an awareness of technologies that could enhance their own research of cultural history, increase the computational literacy of participants, and provide learners with knowledge of the methodological discourses required to pursue further study with those who have technical expertise. 

Orla Delaney is a second-year PhD student in the Faculty of English and holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature and German from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc in Digital Humanities from UCL. Her research consists of the development and implementation of an ethnographic methodology for the critical study of museum databases, which aims to give a richly detailed and situated perspective on collections. Orla plans her workshops to give participants an overview of qualitative techniques and methods for data analysis, particularly within the cultural heritage sector. The workshops are aimed at researchers in the cultural heritage space, but also at data science researchers interested in adding a critical dimension to their statistical work.

Tom Kissock is a PhD student at the Department of Sociology. Tom has fifteen years’ experience as a Director and Executive Producer working and researching with digital video outside of academia for the BBC, YouTube, NBC, Cisco, and CBS. He also has seven years under his belt researching video witnessing and human rights abuses in the fourth sector. In 2019 whilst pursuing his MSc at UCL Tom used Video Data Analysis to track how populist political actors in Brazil build misinformation and election campaigns by strategising the cross-sharing video assets to avoid journalistic questioning as a symbolic accountability mechanism. In his PhD he is again using video analysis as a method to explore how activists use video streaming platforms and ultimately he is interested in how video can produce knowledge and subsequently how we value different knowledges through the process of video witnessing. Tom is looking forward to offering Video Data Analysis for social science and humanities students.

Aphrodita Nicolova is an interdisciplinary social scientist and education researcher specialising in creative arts practice and youth education, social justice, and creative research methods. As an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, her research focuses on the live and digital circulation of the popular art form known as spoken word poetry, youth education and wellbeing, as part of a project titled Poetic Justice Values at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, where she completed her doctorate (Gates Cambridge Scholarship) as part of the Arts and Creativities Research Group. Afrodita’s workshop will focus interdisciplinary theory and research in the digital humanities titled ‘Creative-Critical Methods: Bearing Witness to Personal and Collective Trauma’.

RSE Methods Fellow

Giulia Grisot a visiting academic with a mixed background in Literary Linguistics, Psycholinguistics and Digital Humanities, has gained experience in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to texts and language in general, becoming familiar with several coding languages (R, python) essential for statistical as well as corpus investigations.

Giulia is currently working with a large corpora of Swiss German fictional texts, looking at sentiments in relation to represented spatial locations, using both lexicon-based methods and machine learning. Giulia will deliver an introduction to R Studio and R Markdown, the workshop will run through the functionalities and advantages of using R Studio and related tools for organising and analysing data, as well as for writing and referencing.

Archive of Tomorrow Methods Fellows

Andrea Kocsis has research experience in machine learning for misinformation research, archives and metadata analysis and visualisation along with GIS. From 2020-21 Andrea was a Research Fellow in Advanced Digital Methods at the National Archives. For Andrea’s work on the Archive of Tomorrow, she is aiming to understand how Covid-19 impacted the online filter bubble. The term describes the false belief that what we see on the internet is all the available information.

Chen Qu is a researcher specialised and interested in urban, health and digital studies, especially for vulnerable groups, currently focussing on digital health, DH governance and their policy impacts. Chen will work on the Archive of Tomorrow project posing the question, Viral vs Female: How health policy in the UK affects gender inequality during the pandemic?

All workshops (once finalised) will be listed here: https://www.cdh.cam.ac.uk/events/type/learning/

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  • Posted 1 Nov 2022

Cambridge Digital Humanities

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