Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENPMUC (Elites, networks, and power in modern urban China (1830-1949).)
Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2020-02-29
Acquisition of the first major corpora in English and Chinese (newspapers, but also directories, dictionaries, etc.) in digital format and creation of the documentary infrastructure to support the access, process, and preservation of these corpora (ExHist Database).
Recruitment of postdoctoral researchers (history, NLP) and specialists (data science, GIS) to constitute the core team of the project, around which a large circle of scholars in history, computing, and linguistics are collaborating.
Evaluation and selection of the instruments and methods to be applied to the corpora, and integration of these instruments and methods into a coherent infrastructure with well-defined workflows.
Training sessions in various advanced techniques (data visualization, R language, MCA, NLP) for the scholars involved in the project.
Creation of the beta version of our two major databases: Modern China Biographical Database and Modern China Geospatial Database, with a preliminary public interface (on-going and not made public yet).
Opening of a research blog (https://enepchina.hypotheses.org/) which we deemed sufficient in the initial phase of the project to publicize our actions and accomplishments (1,800 unique visitors and 2,556 visits in February 2020). We just started designing a prototype for the web poral that will integrate all our instruments and resources.
Organization of two international workshops, one on biographical databases, one on elites and networks in China. The former served to bring together top-rate experts to discuss and assess existing biographical databases. The latter brought together historians of China on the specific theme of elites, knowledge, and power. An edited volume is currently being prepared by the P.I.
Participation to various conferences (Biographical Data in a Digital World 2019, DADH 2019, AAS 2020 [panel accepted, but conference cancelled due to coronavirus], EHSSC 2020 [postponed to 2021 for the same reason] and seminars (Bristol University, Aix-Marseille University, Naples University [postponed to autumn 2020].