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This conference was organised by my colleagues and me from the NIOD War and Society research program, IMIS (University of Osnabrück) and Movies that Matter. It was aimed at connecting scholars working on war, mass violence and genocide with researchers working in the field of migration studies in order to deepen the dialogue between two disciplines that often look at similar phenomena but from different perspectives.
In the summer of 2019 I attended the 9th Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH) at the Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. I presented a paper-in-progress on references to World War II in Dutch parliamentary debates on the Indonesian war of independence (1945-1949).
For three months, I worked as a PhD Research Fellow at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH). During this fellowship I was part of the Impresso project team at C²DH. The NIOD blog published a miniseries of three blogs about my experiences and more about the Impresso research pilot can be found here.
Gerben Zaagsma (C2DH, University of Luxembourg) invited Ralf Futselaar and me to organise a workshop ‘Introduction to Text Mining in R and RStudio’ at the University of Luxembourg.
With my PhD-supervisor dr. Ralf Futselaar I went to Kwansei Gakuin Univesity in Nishinomiya, Japan to visit prof. dr. Yasuto Nakano. We received a grant from the Kwansei Gakuin University Invited Researcher Fund to work together with Yasuto Nakano on, among other things, comparative text mining using Japanese and Dutch digitized parliamentary proceedings. Together with prof. Nakano’s students we organized a small seminar to discuss the application of text mining techniques within various fields, ranging from sociology to history.
In the summer of 2017 Ralf Futselaar and I visited prof. dr. Yasuto Nakano at the Kwansei Gakuin University for collaborative work on quantitative text analysis, emotion mining, and statistics.
In July 2017 I attended the NJU-NIOD Summer School: ‘Practices of Remembrance beyond Memory Politics: Recalling Mass Violence and the Roads to Reconciliation in Asia and Europe’ in Nanjing, China. With a group of selected PhD students, MA students, and young researchers from the Netherlands and Japan, I travelled to China to collaborate with Chinese PhD and MA students in the scorching heat of Nanjing in July.
In collaboration with dr. Martijn Schoonvelde (VU University) and dr. Mark Dechesne (Leiden University) I am organizing a frequently recurring seminar on the quantitative analysis of large text corpora.
In various academic fields texts are analysed for indicators of speaker personality, or speaker emotions like disgust, anger, and happiness: concepts which have been shown to drive political behaviour or to represent opinions, attitudes or emotionality in relation to certain topics. Quantitative analysis or ‘mining’ of these psychological constructs in the study of historical, social, and political phenomena is burgeoning.
To learn more about these developments, we have formed a multidisciplinary group of interested and active researchers in the Netherlands by means of a regularly occurring seminar in which best practices in applied work, new methodologies, and substantive new findings are exchanged and discussed. We aim for a group of committed members who intend to participate on a regular basis.
At the moment, we are working on our programme for 2019-2020. If you want to present and discuss your work, or have any suggestions or remarks, please send an e-mail
Roundtable discussion during the third seminar at the NIOD, 2017
Published in Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 2016
Review of: Hilbrink (2015), Knokploegen; Schippers (2015), De Westerweelgroep en de Palestinapioniers
Published in Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Semantic Systems, 2017
Recommended citation: Olieman, A., Beelen, K., van Lange, M., Kamps, J., & Marx, M. (2017). "Good Applications for Crummy Entity Linkers? The Case of Corpus Selection in Digital Humanities." Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Semantic Systems
Published in 16th Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval Workshop, Hilversum, Netherlands, 2017
Recommended citation: Olieman, A., Beelen, K., van Lange, M., Kamps, J., & Marx, M. (2017). "Riches of the Poor: Using Crummy Entity Linkers for Interactive Search in Digital Humanities" Abstract from 16th Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval Workshop, Hilversum, Netherlands.
Published in NIOD Library Blog, 2018
Published in Proceedings of the Conference on Language Technologies & Digital Humanities 2018, 2018
Recommended citation: van Lange, M. & Futselaar, R. (2018). "Debating Evil: Using Word Embeddings to Analyze Parliamentary Debates on War Criminals in The Netherlands." Proceedings of the Conference on Language Technologies & Digital Humanities 2018
Published in NIOD Blog, 2019
In this NIOD blog miniseries, I briefly discuss my experiences as a fellow at the C2DH in Luxembourg. I write on the impresso newspaper project (part 1), the exploratory work on this project (part 2), and reflect on the application of digital methods in historical research (part 3).
Debating Evil: Using Word Embeddings to Analyze Parliamentary Debates on War Criminals in The Netherlands
Published in Contributions to Contemporary History. Vol. 59, no. 1 (2019), 2019
In this paper a method is evaluated to investigate changes in historical discourse by using large bodies of text and word embedding models. As a case study, discussions in Dutch Parliament about the punishment of war criminals in the period 1945-1975 are investigated. We will demonstrate how word embedding models, trained with Google’s Word2Vec algorithm, can be used to trace historical developments in parliamentary vocabulary through time.
“Lightning” presentation on methodological issues concerning the diachronic investigation of emotions in historical texts.
Guest lecture at Erasmus University Rotterdam with Dr. Ralf Futselaar on integrating quantitative digital research methodologies in historical research. The lecture was part of a Bachelor-course on historical research methodology.
This lecture on new methodologies for the humanities dealt with text mining as methodological addition to the toolbox of the humanities researcher. The lecture was part of the Digital Humanities minor at the Utrecht University.
Together with Dr. Ralf Futselaar I presented a quantitative text analysis of nuclear weapon debates in the Dutch parliament (1975-1990) to the Digital Humanities Group of the Royal Library (KB). We demonstrated how we combined Word Embedding Models based on the Google Word2Vec algorithm and Cosine-Similarity-scores to investigate political speech diachronically.
In this panel we looked at the application of text mining techniques in historical research. Our central goal was to discuss practices for validation of techniques and methodologies. We wanted to come up with a proposal for integrating text mining techniques in historical research practice in a meaningful, substantive, and contributive way, and pave the way for the move of text mining into common research practice, beyond the current hype.
The concept of “justice” is at once universal or near-universal through time and societies, but the meanings given to the term are historically fluid. What is considered “just” in one society may be profoundly unjust in another. Together with Ralf Futselaar, I proposed a method to investigate the issue. We used the digitized proceedings of the Dutch parliament (Handelingen der Staten-Generaal). Next, we trained Word Embedding Models (WEMs) with this data using the Google Word2Vec algorithm to gain insight in the discursive spaces of different words over time. By combining WEMs with Cosine Similarity measures, we developed a workflow to use discursive spaces of words to learn something about the concepts they represent and to compare these concepts diachronically.
Dialects of Discord: Using Word Embedding Models to analyse preferred vocabularies in political debate through time
In the early 1980s, the controversy regarding placement or non‐placement of cruise missiles led to the greatest popular protests in Dutch history and to a long and often bitter political controversy. The NATO “double‐track decision” of 1979 envisioned the placement of nuclear weapons in the Netherlands, to which the Dutch government eventually agreed in 1985. After 1985, due to declining tensions between the Soviet Block and NATO, the new cruise missiles were never stationed in the Netherlands. We wanted to analyse this acrimonious debate using Word Embedding Models (WEMs) and the proceedings of the Dutch lower and upper house of Parliament during the 1970s and 1980s.
Debating Evil: Using Word Embeddings to Analyze Parliamentary Debates on War Criminals in The Netherlands
(Together with Ralf Futselaar) In this presentation, we proposed a method to investigate changes in historical discourse by using large bodies of text and word embedding models. As a case study, we investigated discussions in Dutch Parliament about the punishment of war criminals in the period 1945-1975. We demonstrated how word embedding models, trained with Google’s Word2Vec algorithm, can be used to trace historical developments in parliamentary vocabulary through time.
Emancipation of Emotions? Questioning the emotionalisation of society with emotion mining and digitised historical corpora
There appears to be consensus about the development of an ‘emotional culture’ in the Western World during the second half of the twentieth century. Emotional expressions supposedly have become more socially acceptable, and such expressions also became much more common in public discourse. It is a common assumption that an ‘emancipation of emotions’ led to a far-reaching and ongoing ‘emotionalisation’ of Western politics, media, and society. By using generic lexicons of emotional words, we try to find an empirical way to test this ‘shared intuition’ in collections of digitised historical parliamentary debates and newspapers.
During my research fellowship at the University of Luxembourg, I was invited to give an impresso talk. I presented my research practices and discussed how emotion mining can help reconsider historiographical shared intuitions on the political debates on the war.
Tantrums and Traitors : A Diachronic Analysis of Emotions in Parliamentary Debates on War Criminals and Collaborators
In this short paper emotions in discussions about the punishment of collaborators and war criminals in the Netherlands are investigated by analysing the digtised verbatim minutes of Dutch parliament.
Research Master programme History, Utrecht University, 2017
I taught this course together with Auke Rijpma and Pim Huijnen. The purpose of this course was to familiarize students of the Research MA programme History with computational techniques to analyse structured and unstructured data.
Bachelor programme History, Utrecht University, 2018
In this research seminar (B2) students analyse, compare and contrast World War I and II from both a Western and Eastern European perspective within the wider historical context of Europe and European violence in the first half of the twentieth century.