Zoe LeBlanc will give the talk, "History of Anti-Colonial Information and the Future of Digital Humanities."
Abstract: How did the rise of the international anti-colonial project in the 1950s intersect with the creation of new ideas about and infrastructure for circulating information? How can studying the history of the Third World project shed light on new directions for digital humanities? I will explore these questions (and a few more) through both material from my current book project and the larger themes that animate my research. Ultimately, I hope to detail how crafting international histories of information has influenced my vision for the future of digital humanities.
Zoe LeBlanc is a postdoctoral associate and Weld Fellow at the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University. She defended the first digital history dissertation at Vanderbilt University in August 2019. Her current project, "Circulating Anti-Colonial Cairo: The Struggle to Decolonize The International Information Order and Construct the Third World in Egypt," is a digital monograph that uses data visualizations and interactive storytelling to tell the story of how Egypt became one of the foremost international news media producers and a leader in the global anti-colonial movement of the 1950s and 60s. For this project, LeBlanc has also developed a custom web application and code libraries to digitize Third World newspapers and periodicals. She then analyzes these datasets using a combination of natural language processing, computer vision, network analysis, and machine learning to trace how anti-colonial discourses transformed over the 1960s. Previously LeBlanc worked as a digital humanities developer at the Scholars' Lab, University of Virginia, where she was responsible for building web applications for mapping and data visualization in the humanities. At both UVA and Princeton, LeBlanc has taught undergraduate students, graduate fellows, and faculty on a wide range of topics, including the history of digital humanities and the foundations of humanities data analysis. LeBlanc currently serves on the editorial board of the Programming Historian and the executive committee of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.
Questions? Contact Lori Kelso