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Colonialism Through the Veil Posts

A View of Algeria in 1830

Posted in Research

In the decades leading up to the French invasion of Algiers, the Ottoman Regency experienced great social, economic, and political upheaval. Dating back to the sixteenth century, the Ottoman governance of Algeria organized political, as well as social, structures and hierarchies. Apart from the imposition of Ottoman governors – provincial beys and the dey who oversaw them from Algiers – and Janissaries to maintain order, Ottoman imperial governance placed few burdens on the Algerian people. The taxes were not onerous, and unlike Egypt, Algerians were never conscripted through the corvée system of forced labor.[58] However, as European nations were more easily able to exert power in the Mediterranean, Algerians endured greater economic hardship and political instability through the erosion of their revenue streams. At the same time that European navies successfully undermined Barbary privateering operations that stabilized Algerian politics, the Napoleonic Wars disrupted international trade. Moreover, the Bubonic Plague swept across North Africa every few years, decimating the population, even as it faced poor harvests and famine. By the time the French invaded in 1827, Algeria had lost much of its citizenry to disease and starvation.

Possible at Any Size: Inclusive Pedagogy in the Digital Humanities Classroom (ACH 2023)

Posted in Digital Humanities, and Percolating Ideas

Presented at the Association for Computers and the Humanities Conference, 29 June – 1 July 2023, Online. Abstract: Over the past three years, the number of mental health, housing, food, and health-related challenges increased dramatically among students in response to overlapping and intersecting crises in the United States and abroad.…

Computational Methods for Restorative Data Justice: The Case of Early Modern Algeria (AHA 2023)

Posted in News and Notes, and Percolating Ideas

The case of Algeria, a palimpsest of overlapping Berber, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and French legacies, highlights the problematic nature of colonized archives and the question of what decolonizing data means in such a context. In this talk, I extend arguments for archival decolonization to the age of big data by offering a definition of restorative data justice and presenting two methods by which we may begin this work.

Detecting Latent Textual Bias with Topic Modeling and Sentiment Analysis (DH 2022)

Posted in Digital Humanities, News and Notes, and Percolating Ideas

Presented at the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations annual conference, 2022, Online. Abstract Bias detection is an emerging area of research for digital humanists, computational linguists, and information studies scholars, alike, who point to biases inherent in our algorithms, software, tools, and platforms, but we are only just beginning to…

Indigenous Persistence under American and French Settler Colonialism (AHA 2020)

Posted in Percolating Ideas, and Research

Presentation for the American Historical Association Conference (3-6 January 2020, Philadelphia, PA) Abstract: In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, American and French settler colonial metropoles installed new governments, laws, and people in the hereditary lands of Native Americans and autochthonous Algerians, but they never successfully replaced all Indigenous…

Dependent Power: Ottoman Governors and Algerian Elites in Constantine, 1567-1837 (MESA 2019)

Posted in Percolating Ideas, and Research

Presentation at the Middle East Studies Association Conference (15-17 November 2019, New Orleans, LA) Abstract In 1713 Ottoman General Kelian-Hussein found himself in Constantine, Algeria to reestablish peace and preserve Ottoman sovereignty in the defiant region, but military acumen alone was not enough. Multiple governors had come and gone so…

2019-2020 DH Research Accelerator Project Introduction

Posted in Digital Humanities, and Research

With support from UCLA’s DH Research Accelerator Program, this project will use text analysis methods, including topic modeling, collocation and sentiment analysis, as well as experimental methods to examine the complex relations between Indigenous peoples, settlers, military leaders, and metropolitan officials to understand how American settler colonialism developed between 1776…

From the Margins to the Center: A Method to Mine and Model Complex Relational Data from French Language Historical Texts

Posted in Digital Humanities, News and Notes, Percolating Ideas, and Research

Presentation for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations Annual Conference (9-12 July 2019, Utrecht, Netherlands) Long Abstract ­­In humanistic research, Named Entity Recognition is highly useful, but it mines surface data, rather than revealing the complex nature of relationships between these entities. Named Entity Recognition (NER) extracts the names of…

HASTAC 2019: Silent No More – Using Text Mining and Social Networks to Decolonize the History of Algerian Women

Posted in Digital Humanities, and Research

This project seeks to decolonize knowledge about Algeria, as well as the archive by repurposing digital tools to surface the most marginalized voices and experiences. In combination, text mining, close reading, and network analysis enable us to uncover the untold stories of both exceptional and ordinary women who lived between 1567 and 1837, the period in which this region was an Ottoman territory.