Projects

The Atmosphere in Spatial History

I am currently working on a study of severe weather that combines archival, cartographic, and digital evidence in an effort to develop the graphical repertoire of spatial history.

Distant Reading

I am interested in how digital distant reading approaches can advance conceptual and intellectual history. For example, I studied thematic and methodological trends in several tens of thousands of dissertations defended at early modern German universities. A first article offers an overview over legal dissertations of the seventeenth century and another employs a novel visualization approach to retrace the role of different age cohorts. I am also contributing to developing a large-scale computational study of the language of early capitalism.

New Maps for the Old Regime

At Stanford, I led the digital mapping project “New Maps for the Old Regime” within the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, using GIS to create new maps of old-regime Europe. Several of these maps have been published in my first book, in an article on the use of polygons in spatial history, and in a forthcoming study on the visual representation of geopolitical complexity.

 

Number of foreign subjects enserfed by the Electors Palatine in 1665. The map shows that the spatial extent of the Palatine incursions in the neighboring territories were much more limited than previously assumed (the light grey area).
The elevation profile of the region shows that most of the serfs lived in the Rhine Rift Valley and in Rhenish Hesse, areas with fertile soils and a warm climate. The villages in these areas were easily accessible and more densely populated, offering a larger tax base.

New Work in Digital Humanities

I initiated and co-host a podcast series, New Work in Digital Humanities, that offers a platform for some of the best recent work in the field.

Early Modern Mobility

Supported with over 150,000 $ from the UPS Endowment Fund and Stanford’s Program in History and Philosophy of Science, this collaborative project investigates the history of postal systems, roads, transportation, and communication infrastructure in early modern Europe. With Paula Findlen (Stanford), Katherine McDonough (London), Leo Barleta (Stanford), Rachel Midura (Stanford), Suzanne Sutherland (Murfreesboro), and Iva Lelková (Prague).