Posts Tagged ‘civil war’

The next Digital History seminar will be streamed over live video link on 29 October 2013 at 5.15pm (GMT).  See details below:


Title: Ideology and Algorithms: The uses of nationalism in the American Civil War and topic Modeling in historical Research

Speaker: Robert Nelson (University of Richmond)

Venue: Athlone Room, 102, Senate house, first floor

Time: Tuesday, October 29th, 5:15 pm GMT  (please note that time differences between UK and USA are one hour less than usual)


The 9th New York Infantry Regiment charging the Confederate right at Antietam. (wikipedia)

The 9th New York Infantry Regiment charging the Confederate right at Antietam. (wikipedia)

Abstract: This presentation will explore the instrumental functions of nationalistic and patriotic rhetoric during the Civil War. Using an innovative text-mining technique called topic modeling to analyze the entire runs of the Richmond Daily Dispatch and the New-York Times during the war, it will suggest that the two newspapers used the same language of patriotism and nationalism but to different ends: the former to draw men into the army, the latter to draw voters to the polls to support the Republic Party.  It will also reflect upon the broader methodological value of topic modeling, suggesting how cultural and intellectual historians can use the technique to interpret the concrete political, social, and emotional functions of elusive ideological discourses.

Rob Nelson is the Director of the Digital Scholarship Lab and affiliated faculty in the American Studies program at the University of Richmond.  He has directed and developed a number of digital humanities projects including “Mining the Dispatch,” “Redlining Richmond,” and the History Engine.  He’s currently working on a couple of projects.  One uses a text-mining technique called topic modeling to analyze nationalism in Civil War newspapers.  The other is an multi-year, collaborative project to develop an extensive digital atlas of American history.

Robert will be speaking via live video link. The seminar will be streamed live online at HistorySpot. To keep in touch, follow us on Twitter (@IHRDigHist) or at the hashtag #dhist.

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Franco-British History
10 November 2011
Stéphane Jettot (Paris 4-Sorbonne), autour de son livre, Servir le roi et la nation. Représentation diplomatique et représentation parlementaire dans l’Angleterre de la Restauration (1660-1702) (PUPS,  2011).

Note: This podcast is in French

Abstract Translation: England under the Restoration continues to be traversed by deep tensions inherited from the Civil War. A key issue debated in Parliament in London, in cities and pamphlets, revolves around the performance. In addition to the reflections of Hobbes or Locke, we remember the failure of the Anglican Church to represent all the Protestants, the failure of the last Stuarts to embody the various and conflicting interests of their subjects or the growing suspicions in the population vis-à-vis the elite members. Similarly, in the diplomatic field, the allies of England question the reliability of their partners and enemies working to maintain the conflict within the court and Parliament. The Glorious Revolution, placing the country in the camp of the allied powers against Louis XIV, raised some uncertainties, but the debate continues about the limits of the royal prerogative, the place of ministerial or how to arbitrate religious interests, commercial or colonial. These well-known problems are revisited from the study of a small group of members whose common point is to combine both a seat in the House of Commons and experience in the embassies on the continent. Their family papers, speeches in Parliament and Europe and their memories can be a personal point of view and concrete on the interactions between domestic crises and diplomatic negotiations in the England of the last Stuarts.

To listen to this podcast click here.

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Latin American History
Mexican Nationalism: History and Theory
David Brading (Cambridge)
4 October 2011

Flag of Mexico

In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain and formed a Republic.  By the 1880s a ‘reformation’ had begun to occur in the Mexican church, trade had moved primarily with Europe to Mexico’s North American neighbours, and modernisation went hand-in-hand with a government based around dictatorship and a cast based society.  Amongst, all of these changes in Mexican society were the growth of a nationalist ideology straining to break free of its Spanish roots and searching for a new ‘Mexican’ identity.  David Brading is both successful as an historian in English-speaking countries and in Mexico itself.  Indeed, several of his books are reprinted regularly in Mexico and viewed as essential texts in their universities.  This talk, then, on Mexican nationalism, comes from a man who is by-far one of the leaders in his particular field.  Brading looks at the multi-faceted nature and history of nationalism in Mexico especially where it intersected with major events such as civil war, religious transformation, and growth of urbanisation and modernisation. 

To listen to the podcast please click here.


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