Gary King: Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship

King is one of the most innovative and influential social science methodologists, much of his work probing the challenges and building solutions for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. He has pioneered research using automated textual analysis, health care evaluation, voting behaviours, international conflict, and the study of human mortality, to name just some fields in which he’s applied his methods.

King talks about “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship,” a recent collaborative investigation into the goals, scope, and effects of censorship by the Chinese government, an excellent exposition both of the impressive scope of big data analysis and its potential relevance to contemporary social and political understanding.

April Glaser: NSA Spying, Digital Privacy, and Your Rights Online

The U.S. government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans and people all over the world. Since this was first reported by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop illegal activities and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

Glaser talks about two cases in which EFF is suing the NSA for violating the First and Fourth Amendment rights of their clients. She considers some of the spying programs that have been revealed since Edward Snowden began to disclose details about government spying last summer. Glaser discusses what is happening in Congress and the White House in response to the ongoing revelations of mass government surveillance. She provides an overview of digital rights activism mounting worldwide against mass surveillance and talk about how to engage in the growing movement to protect our rights in the digital age.

Ryan Cordell: Viral Textuality: Uncovering Reprinting Networks In 19th Century Newspapers

Ryan Cordell, Assistant Professor of English, at Northeastern University has routinely contributed to thinking on digital matters in research and in the undergraduate curriculum as you can see from his writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education among other venues.

The title of his talk is “Viral Textuality: Uncovering Reprinting Networks in Nineteenth-Century Newspapers.” The project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is described here: http://viraltexts.org.

Cordell’s research reflects the best possibilities in the digital humanities. He writes literary history. He collaborates to do so, with computer scientists among others, and he’s revealing new phenomena with old methods and new.

Alongside traditional means of interpretation and contextualization, Cordell takes big data—newspapers for instance—and applies the latest text mining and network analysis to trace key parts of nineteenth century US culture, as they went viral via contemporary social media.

Kim Diver and Phil Stern: Geospatial Data Visualization and Analysis using GPS

Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative – Philip Stern Workshop. The focus will be on how tools like GIS (Geographic Information Systems) among others can help us to analyze and visualize complex data, whether derived from texts or physical spaces. Presenters: Phil Stern (Assistant Professor of History at Duke University, and a graduate of the Wesleyan class of 1997) and Kim Diver (Visiting Assistant Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University).