Trading zone between NLP and History - a post series

Mon, 11.06 2018 — 

Stepping in the NLP / History trading zone: a series of posts

The title of this post paraphrases our colleague Max Kemman and relates to the ‘negociation of practices’ that (should) inevitably happens within interdisciplinary frameworks. Within impresso, we tackle this challenge by, among others, placing co-design at the heart of our work organisation. Besides the realisation of an exploration interface which answers the needs of its users, with co-design we intend to foster the dialogue between our academic fields (computational linguistics and history), as well as to reflect on the general change of research environment for the humanities (more on co-design in a soon-to-come glossary entry).

Concretely speaking, impresso co-design is put into practice with an early-stage and continuous participation of historians. This cooperation is materialized via, on the one hand, the definition of research scenarios by historians and, on the other, the explanation and implementation of NLP processes by computational linguists, all these being discussed during workshops.

With this blog post series, computational linguists would like to step in the trading zone, and to translate what ‘named entity processing’, ‘topic modeling’, ‘text reuse’ and more means in practical terms when it comes to searching and exploring a historical newspaper collection. The intention is to sketch possibilities so as to help historians potentially interested in our future interface to plan their research and start operationalizing their questions. We would like to emphasize that the following descriptions are rather concise and will be further explained and illustrated as our work proceeds.

This series is divided into three parts:

  1. Named Entity Processing
  2. Topic Modeling
  3. Text re-use

Ehrmann, Maud. Trading zone between NLP and History - a post series, Blog post, impresso, 2018 <>.