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Paul Vierthaler Lecture: “Where Did All These Rumors Come From? Computationally Identifying Intertextuality and Machine-Classifying Its Source in a Late Imperial Chinese Corpus”

“Where Did All These Rumors Come From? Computationally Identifying Intertextuality and Machine-Classifying Its Source in a Late Imperial Chinese Corpus”
Authors of late imperial Chinese quasi-historical documents recycled text with little regard for specifying their sources or maintaining fidelity to them. Identifying these instances of intertextuality provides a valuable window into how historical information transformed as it propagated through texts. Yet the mechanics of this transmission can be difficult to assess because of textual attrition and often limited publication information for extant documents. As such, it is often unclear which document is quoting which. In this talk, Paul Vierthaler will briefly introduce a method for extracting these ubiquitous instances of intertextuality and describe his current research in applying machine learning algorithms to predict the text of origin for any given quote.


Paul Vierthaler of the University of Leiden specializes in the digital humanities and Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese literature. His current research focuses on late Ming and early Qing literary representations of recent events, late Imperial print culture and history, genre analysis, and authorship studies. His research incorporates a combination of close reading and traditional critical analysis with natural language processing, corpus linguistics, machine learning and unstructured/structured data analysis.

October 11, 2018 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Brooks Hall

Event type: Lecture


Event type: Workshop