Descriptive and empirical sciences, such as History, are the sciences that collect, observe and describe phenomena in order to explain them and draw interpretative conclusions about influences, driving forces and impacts under given circumstances. Spreadsheet software and relational database management systems are still the dominant tools for quantitative analysis and overall data management in these these sciences, allowing researchers to directly analyse the gathered data and perform scholarly interpretation. However, this current practice has a set of limitations, including the high dependency of the collected data on the initial research hypothesis, usually useless for other research, the lack of representation of the details from which the registered relations are inferred, and the difficulty to revisit the original data sources for verification, corrections or improvements. To cope with these problems, in this paper we present FAST CAT, a collaborative system for assistive data entry and curation in Digital Humanities and similar forms of empirical research. We describe the related challenges, the overall methodology we follow for supporting semantic interoperability, and discuss the use of FAST CAT in the context of a European (ERC) project of Maritime History, called SeaLiT, which examines economic, social and demographic impacts of the introduction of steamboats in the Mediterranean area between the 1850s and the 1920s. This is a preprint of an article accepted for publication at the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH)
The adaptive reuse of cultural heritage assets is often problematic. What emerges is the urgency of a thoughtful negotiation between built forms and emerging needs and requests. In this view, a fruitful trajectory of development arises in commoning heritage by means of adaptive reuse. Hence, the purpose of this article is to investigate how community-led adaptive heritage re-use practices contribute to social innovation in terms of new successful model of urban governance, by providing a specific focus on innovative aspects that emerge in both heritage and planning sectors. Therefore, it also aims to improve the knowledge in the innovative power of heritage when conceptualized as performative practice. To this end, the paper presents the adaptation process of a former church complex located in Naples, today Scugnizzo Liberato, one of the bottom-up initiatives recognized by the Municipality of Naples as part of the urban commons network of the city. The research results are based on desk research, a literature review, and interviews with experts and activists, conducted as part of the OpenHeritage project (Horizon 2020). Initial evidence shows that profound citizen involvement throughout the whole heritage-making process might generate innovative perspectives in urban governance as well as conservation planning practice.
This paper introduces an innovative method applied to global (economic) history using the tools of digital humanities through the design and development of the GECEM Project Database (www.gecem.eu; www.gecemdatabase.eu). This novel database goes beyond the static Excel files frequently used by conventional scholarship in early modern history studies to mine new historical data through a bottom-up process and analyse the global circulation of goods, consumer behaviour, and trade networks in early modern China and Europe. Macau and Marseille, as strategic entrepôts for the redistribution of goods, serve as the main case study. This research is framed within a polycentric approach to analyse the connectivity of south Chinese and European markets with trade zones of Spain, France, South America, and the Pacific. GECEM Project (ERC-Starting Grant), ref. 679371, under the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, www.gecem.eu. GECEM Project (ERC-Starting Grant), ref. 679371, Horizon 2020, project hosted at UPO https://www.gecem.eu/publications/index.html www.gecem.eu
Critics of multiple realizability have recently argued that we should concentrate solely on actual here-and-now realizations that are found in nature. The possibility of alternative, but unactualized, realizations is regarded as uninteresting because it is taken to be a question of pure logic or an unverifiable scenario of science fiction. However, in the biological context only a contingent set of realizations is actualized. Drawing on recent work on the theory of neutral biological spaces, the article shows that we can have ways of assessing the modal dimension of multiple realizability that do not have to rely on mere conceivability.
AbstractPolice verification of domestic servants has become standard practice in many cities in contemporary India. However, the regularization of work, which brings domestic servants under protective labour laws, is still a work in progress. Examining a long timespan, this article shows how policing of the servant, through practices of identification and verification, came to be institutionalized. It looks at the history of registration within the larger mechanism of regulation that emerged for domestic servants in the late eighteenth century. However, the establishment of control over servants was not linear in its subsequent development; registration as a tool of control took on different meanings within the changing ecosystem of legal provisions. In the late eighteenth century, it was discussed as being directly embedded in the logic of master–servant regulation, a template that was borrowed from English law. In the late nineteenth century, it was increasingly seen as a proxy for formal means of regulation, although this viewpoint was not universally accepted. Charting this history of changing structures of inclusion and exclusion within the law, the article argues that overt policing of servants is a manifestation of the colonial legacy, in which the identity of the servant is fused with potential criminality.
Abstract Nation and nationhood are among the most frequently studied concepts in the field of intellectual history. At the same time, the word ‘nation’ and its historical usage are very vague. The aim in this article was to develop a data-driven method using dependency parsing and neural word embeddings to clarify some of the vagueness in the evolution of this concept. To this end, we propose the following two-step method. First, using linguistic processing, we create a large set of words pertaining to the topic of nation. Second, we train diachronic word embeddings and use them to quantify the strength of the semantic similarity between these words and thereby create meaningful clusters, which are then aligned diachronically. To illustrate the robustness of the study across languages, time spans, as well as large datasets, we apply it to the entirety of five historical newspaper archives in Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, and English. To our knowledge, thus far there have been no large-scale comparative studies of this kind that purport to grasp long-term developments in as many as four different languages in a data-driven way. A particular strength of the method we describe in this article is that, by design, it is not limited to the study of nationhood, but rather expands beyond it to other research questions and is reusable in different contexts.
Abstract This paper stems from the analysis of multiple poetic resources that were available online, as well as the results of methodological discussions with scholars of European Literature. The goal was to retrieve the informational needs of all these different sources in order to build a common data model for European Poetry (EP). Thus, by implementing a reverse engineering method, we have created the Domain Model for EP, which is an important breakthrough for making existent poetry resources interoperable. The lack of a uniform academic approach to analyse and classify poetic manifestations, the divergence of theories when comparing poetry schools from different languages and periods is some of the factors that hinder the modelling process. In this paper, we will present some of the challenges we encountered while conceptualizing the information relevant to poetic analysis and how we have worked around them. Some elements of the ontology will be presented to illustrate our modelling strategies.
The characterization of archaeological ceramics according to their chemical composition provides essential information about the production and distribution of specific pottery wares. If a correlation between compositional patterns and local production centers is assumed, pottery manufacturing and trade and, more generally, economic, political, as well as cultural relations between communities and regions can be investigated. In the present paper, the combined application of portable XRF and statistical analysis to the investigation of a large repertory of ceramic fragments allowed us to group the assemblage by identifying geochemical clusters. The results from the chemical and statistical analysis were then compared with reference ceramic samples from the same area, as well as with macroscopic and petrographic observations to confirm, coalesce or sub-divide putative sub-divisions. The study of 141 samples from different sites located within a wide area spanning across the Colline Metallifere and the coast (Monterotondo Marittimo, Roccastrada, Donoratico, and Vetricella) provided new clues for a new interpretive archaeological framework that suggests that there was a well-defined organization of pottery manufacturing and circulation across southern Tuscany during the early medieval period.
Culture is increasingly being framed as a driver of human phenotypes and behaviour. Yet very little is known about variations in the patterns of past social interactions between humans in cultural evolution. The archaeological record, combined with modern evolutionary and analytical approaches, provides a unique opportunity to investigate broad-scale patterns of cultural change. Prompted by evidence that a population's social connectivity influences cultural variability, in this article, we revisit traditional approaches used to infer cultural evolutionary processes from the archaeological data. We then propose that frameworks considering multi-scalar interactions (from individuals to populations) over time and space have the potential to advance knowledge in cultural evolutionary theory. We describe how social network analysis can be applied to analyse diachronic structural changes and test cultural transmission hypotheses using the archaeological record (here specifically from the Marine Isotope Stage 3 ca 57–29 ka onwards). We argue that the reconstruction of prehistoric networks offers a timely opportunity to test the interplay between social connectivity and culture and ultimately helps to disentangle evolutionary mechanisms in the archaeological record. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘The emergence of collective knowledge and cumulative culture in animals, humans and machines’. This work was funded by the European Research Council (ref. ERC-CoG 2015) under the European Union's horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 683018). J.F.-L.d.P. was also supported by grant no. 2018/040 from the CIDEGENT Excellence programme of Generalitat Valenciana.