Announcements

February 3, 2019

Call for Participation: Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist

Applications are invited for participation in a new series of advanced institutes on text analysis, sponsored by the Northeastern University Women Writers Project with generous funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. These events will introduce teachers and researchers at varied levels of expertise to the text analysis methods and interpretive questions arising from word embedding models, which represent connections between words as computable spatial relationships. These institutes will explore practical techniques and also interpretive outcomes, working with simple, open-access web tools hosted in the Women Writers Online Lab.

We plan four institutes in all:

  1. An introductory institute focused on research uses of word vectors, using the WWP’s web-based Women Writers Vector Toolkit
  2. An introductory institute focused on pedagogical uses of word vectors, using the WWP’s web-based Women Writers Vector Toolkit
  3. An intensive institute focused on research uses of word vectors, offering a thorough, well-scaffolded introduction to RStudio through commented code samples that can be adapted for use in participants’ own work
  4. An intensive institute focused on pedagogical uses of word vectors, including coverage of RStudio and the challenges of teaching command-line tools in a humanities context

Both the introductory and intensive events are intended to stand on their own, although participants are welcome to attend both, space permitting. Each event will be followed by a period of virtual discussion, consultation, and support. Participants will share research and teaching outcomes including syllabi, assignments, blog posts, and research papers.

Each institute will begin with a three-day in-person event, followed by a three-month period of virtual discussion and consultation with WWP staff and fellow participants to ensure that these challenging concepts and techniques can be thoroughly internalized. Participants will be encouraged to share research and teaching outcomes (syllabi, assignments, blog posts, research papers) and will be given the opportunity to post preliminary results and work in progress on the WWP blog.

Travel funding is available of up to $500 per participant.

We’re now inviting applications for the first event. For information on how to apply, and for more detailed information on the workshops, please see here.

Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist: Introductory, Research-focused
Northeastern University, July 17-19, 2019
Application deadline: March 22, 2019
Participants notified by April 19, 2019

We’ll soon be announcing dates for the remaining three events:

Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist: Introductory, Teaching-focused
Northeastern University, May 2020 (precise date to be determined)
Application deadline: January 24, 2020
Participants notified by February 14, 2020

Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist: Intensive, Research-focused
Northeastern University, July 2020 (precise date to be determined)
Application deadline: January 24, 2020
Participants notified by February 14, 2020

Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist: Intensive, Teaching-focused
Northeastern University, July 2021 (precise date to be determined)
Application deadline: March 19, 2021
Participants notified by April 16, 2021

Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

December 11, 2018

Four New Texts Added to Women Writers Online

The WWP is delighted to report that we have added four new texts to Women Writers Online: Margaret Bingham’s 1768 Verses on the Present State of Ireland, Elizabeth Heyrick’s 1824 Immediate, Not Gradual Abolition, Elizabeth Wast’s 1785 The Most Remarkable Passages in the Life and Spiritual Experiences of Elizabeth Wast, and the first volume of the 1767 novel The Female American, authorship unknown.

These four texts highlight how women engaged with political and religious issues of their times: for example, Bingham’s poem is designed to “raise compassion in the breast of power” and ameliorate the “unhappy situation of the people of Ireland, both as to trade and religion.” Heyrick’s pamphlet is equally intended to have an immediate political effect, arguing that: “the perpetuation of slavery in our West India colonies, is not an abstract question, to be settled between the Government and the Planters,—it is a question in which we are all implicated;—we are all guilty, (with shame and compunction let us admit the opprobrious truth) of supporting and perpetuating slavery.” The Female American offers a Robinson Crusoe tale from the perspective of a female biracial indigenous protagonist, who both upholds—and problematizes—nationalism and colonialism in the early republic. Finally, Wast’s memoir presents a detailed portrait of the religious experiences of a seventeenth-century Scottish woman who worked as the mistress of the Trades Hospital in Edinburgh.

August 17, 2018

The WWP Receives Funding for “Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist”

The WWP is delighted to report that we have received $197,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities’s Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program to support “Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist: Institutes on Critical Teaching and Research with Vector Space Models,” a series of four three-day institutes that will explore the use of word embedding models for textual analysis.

This grant builds on a generous seedling grant from Northeastern’s Tier One program. The NEH award will fund a series of advanced workshops to introduce teachers and researchers at varied levels of expertise to the text analysis methods and interpretive questions arising from word embedding models, which represent connections between words as computable spatial relationships. Use of word embedding models in the humanities is still fairly recent, and tools for working with them are mostly limited to the command line. These institutes will explore practical techniques and also interpretive outcomes, working with simple, open-access web tools hosted in the Women Writers Online Lab. We plan four institutes in all: two focused on teaching and two focused on research, with an introductory and intensive event for each. Each event will be followed by a period of virtual discussion, consultation, and support. Participants will share research and teaching outcomes including syllabi, assignments, blog posts, and research papers.

These institutes build on the Women Writers Project's extensive curriculum of digital humanities workshops and also expand on our program of support for experimental humanities pedagogy using digital tools.

June 20, 2018

Four New Texts Added to Women Writers Online

The WWP is delighted to report that we have added four new texts to Women Writers Online, including Anna Seward’s 1780 Elegy on Captain Cook and Elizabeth Sarah Gooch’s 1788 An Appeal to the Public. We have also added two new folders from the Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson, created in partnership with the editors of The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition. Folder 26, written when MME was 72 years old, is a brief and incomplete Almanack in which MME mentions her health having recently improved, which she attributes to horseback rides in the winter cold; her unworthiness as a Christian (a recurring theme in the Almanacks); and paying neighborly visits, presumably, given the year-end date, during the holiday season. Folder 42, written c. 1825–1826, was a birthday gift from MME to her nephew Ralph Waldo Emerson and is written as a dialogue between Plato and “Ancestor”—MME’s father, Reverend William Emerson (1743-1776)—who represented for MME the embodiment of both a Revolutionary War hero and the five generations of Emerson clergymen who also served as leading figures in their communities.

February 22, 2018

Four New Texts Added to Women Writers Online

The WWP is delighted to report that we have added four new texts to Women Writers Online. The earliest of these texts is Sarah Wight’s 1656 A Wonderful Pleasant and Profitable Letter. The later three texts all show women’s engagement with colonialism and empire-building: Elizabeth Hanson’s 1728 God's Mercy Surmounting Man’s Cruelty, Elizabeth Hamilton’s 1796 Translation of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah (vol. 1), and Catherine Read Williams’s 1841 The Neutral French.

December 21, 2017

The WWP Adds Six New Exhibits to Women Writers in Context

We are pleased to report that we have added six new exhibits to Women Writers in Context, an experimental publication series designed to engage readers in exploration and discovery of topics related to early women’s writing. Exhibits are brief essays that combine critical arguments, images and media objects, visualizations, and links to the primary sources in Women Writers Online.

The newly released exhibits, written by scholars of literary and historical studies, offer introductions to works by Margaret Cavendish, Prudentia Deacon, Elizabeth I, Katharine Parr, Lady Jane Dudley (née) Grey, and others.

The Women Writers in Context platform is designed to serve as a point of entry for the materials in Women Writers Online, highlighting connections among the texts and their authors. Exhibits have several reading and display options, with contextual details for the persons and texts discussed, a timeline view showing significant events, and links to additional readings and information.

Explore these exhibits and others here. See more on the content and goals of Women Writers in Context here. Interested in contributing an exhibit? A guide for authors is available here.

For older announcements please see our archive.