Call for Papers – Data-driven Conceptual History: New Methods and Approaches

Application Deadline:  31st May, 2017

Conference Date: 7-9 December, 2017

Venue: University of Manchester

This panel aims to bring together scholars to present the state-of-the-art in digital conceptual history and to discuss epistemological and methodological questions related to computational approaches to conceptual change.

The digitisation of historical material and the implementation of new computational tools have spurred the study of semantic and conceptual change. The availability of large digitised corpora of historical newspapers, for example, has broadened the scope of traditional approaches in conceptual and intellectual history. On the one hand, these corpora enable the study of conceptual change over much longer periods of time. On the other, they enrich conceptual history with views from sources, such as public media, that hitherto have been used to a much lesser extent. Above all, data-driven techniques like topic modeling or word embeddings—although certainly not without limitations of their own—have the potential to contribute to the theoretical underpinnings of what concepts are and how they change over time.

Papers may be empirical or methodological in nature and can address, among others, the following issues:

  1. Case studies presenting examples of the use of computational techniques to study conceptual change over time;
  2. Case studies focusing on the cultural transfer of concepts and the use of quantitative textual analysis in multilingual datasets;
  3. Reflections on the ways in which computational methodologies can be used to historicize concepts;
  4. Presentations of new tools and techniques, such as word embeddings or linked data collections, to extract concepts from large textual datasets;
  5. Presentations of innovative visualisation techniques for the research of conceptual change;
  6. Reflections on the implications of computational techniques for our theoretical understanding of conceptual change.

Submission of Paper Proposals

Abstracts of 300-500 words should be sent by 31 May 2017 to:

Dr. Pim Huijnen, P.Huijnen@uu.nl

Notification of acceptance will be given by 15 June 2017.

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