Congratulations Vincent Hiribarren

This blog does not tend to cover African history, but today we are pleased to make an exception.

We are delighted to announce the appearance of Vincent Hiribarren‘s doctoral monograph, A History of Borno. Trans-Saharan African Empire to Failing Nigerian State (London: Hurst, 2017).

As the commentary and reviews on the publisher’s website explain, this ‘hugely significant, superbly written, and profoundly interesting’ book charts the nineteenth and twentieth-century history ‘of an ancient Sahelian kingdom whose hinterland is now being laid waste by the Boko Haram insurgency’. Tracing its history back even beyond the foundation of the Bornu Empire (lasted 1380-1893), Borno has had remarkably stable borders and a clearly defined social and political identity, that as the publishers’ reviewers note, ‘calls into question received notions on the nature and sources of political power in Africa, in the past and present,’ and play an important role ‘in the framing of the narratives of Boko Haram’s contemporary jihad.’

The book, of course, also evidences Vincent’s passion for maps and mapping, traits which proved invaluable to his work on the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project, too. As followers of this blog will know, Vincent was a technologist and GIS mapper for FBTEE from 2009 to 2012. His work on final editing of the database, our online and downloadable maps and visualizations, and the transfer of the database to Western Sydney in many ways kept the project alive through a difficult transition. In 2013-14 he helped to conceptualize and prepare the next stage of the project, work which contributed to the collaborative article ‘Mapping Print, Connecting Cultures‘. He was a named Research Associate on the FBTEE project’s ARC applications in 2014 and 2015, but before he could take up a position on the ‘Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment‘ project, he was appointed to a Lectureship in Modern African History at Kings College, London.

So congratulations, Vincent, on the appearance of this important monograph. We hope it is the first of many.

FBTEE wins BSECS Digital Resource Prize

We are pleased to announce that deep into the Australian summer holiday period, FBTEE was awarded the 2017 British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Digital Resource Prize at the BSECS annual conference at St Hugh’s college, Oxford, on 5 January.

Here is how Laure Philip announced the prize at our own institution (while I was busy sunning myself down the coast – so my warmest thanks, Laure). The announcement is accompanied by a rather hastily prepared ‘Oscar style’ acceptance video-presentation speech – finished minutes before I departed on the family’s annual holiday – which also gives a brief account of our current work. Enjoy!

‘The Digital Humanities Research Group is extremely honoured to announce that the French Book Trade and Enlightenment database (FBTEE) has been nominated by the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS) for the Digital Resource Prize today in Oxford. FBTEE was launched in 2012 at the University of Leeds by Professor Simon Burrows. It involved the work of many talented researchers, designers and scholars and a second stage of FBTEE’s development is being funded by the Australian Research Council and Western Sydney University, where the project is now based. This prize not only celebrates the originality of the FBTEE database but also the outstanding ongoing work done by all team members.

Please click on link below to hear project leader Professor Simon Burrows thank everyone and explain what this state of the art database is about and how it can help revise our understanding of the eighteenth-century book trade:

 

 

Digitizing Enlightenment, 12-13 July 2016

We are pleased to announce that details and how to register for the Digitizing Enlightenment symposium to be held at Western Sydney’s Parramatta campus on 12-13 July are now available here.

The symposium brings together representatives of several leading Digital Humanities projects dealing with the Enlightenment in France and/or Europe to discuss the development of the field, findings, technologies and methodologies, and where our research is heading.

Projects represented will include ‘Mapping the Republic of Letters’; the Electronic Enlightenment; the Comédie Française Registers Project; ARTFL’s Encyclopédie project; MEDIATE and of course FBTEE itself.

The symposium precedes the George Rudé Seminar, which will take place at Parramatta from 13-16 July.

Welcome to FBTEE

The FBTEE team is proud to announce the appointment of Dr Katherine McDonough as Research Associate on our Australian Research Council’s Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment (MPCE) project.

 

Katie McDonough is currently based at Bates College in Maine, but she did her doctoral work at Stanford (and much else besides) under the mentorship of Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein.

She has thus worked with two of the most intellectually innovative Enlightenment/French revolutionists from two different generations, and has participated in some of the projects of the Mapping the Republic of Letters team.

Katie is already an accomplished digital humanist, and has a particular expertise in mapping and spatial history which grows out of her innovative doctoral work on infrastructure development and provincial society in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France. This is all experience that will be invaluable to the FBTEE project.

Katie will be working with us on the ‘Mapping the French novel‘ strand of the MPCE project.

FBTEE is delighted at Katie’s appointment from a strong field, and we look forward to welcoming them to Western Sydney. They should both be here in good time to participate in the George Rudé Seminar and Digitizing Enlightenment symposium in July.

 

Digitizing Enlightenment

Digitizing Enlightenment is the name of a symposium we are holding at Western Sydney’s Parramatta campus on 12-13 July 2016. It will bring together a stellar cast of chief investigators and participants on some of the most exciting digital projects around, including our old friends Mapping the Republic of Letters, the Comédie francaise registers project, ARTFL, FBTEE, Electronic Enlightenment, as well as some newer players in the field. We will be talking about the history and development of these projects, the methods and techniques they have developed, key findings and lessons, future collaborations and how digital scholarship has and is changing eighteenth-century studies. It promises to be a great curtain-raiser for the George Rudé Seminar in French History and Civilization, which will be held at the same venue on 13-16 July. There will be podcasts of the discussions for those who cannot make it in person, and there will be a book, too. We are also looking for scholars and students who have made innovative use of the resources to be discussed as potential participants … much more will follow in July. Can’t wait.

FBTEE in Russian

A couple of years ago, I was invited to submit a piece to the Annuaire d’études françaises, for a special edition to mark the 225th anniversary of the French Revolution, to be edited by Alexandre Tchoudinov et Dmitri Bovykine. And as a free bonus they have even translated it into Russian. For those of you who missed it, the title is ‘БИБЛИОМЕТРИЯ, ПОПУЛЯРНОЕ ЧТЕНИЕ И ЛИТЕРАТУРНОЕ ПОЛЕ ИЗДАТЕЛЯ ЭПОХИ ПРОСВЕЩЕНИЯ’ and my name has been rendered in Russian as Саймон Барроуз. I think that must be right, but as my name has been mistranscribed in English in the table of contents as Sidney Burrows, I’m not quite sure. Ironically, I was indeed nearly named Sidney, as my mother is a primary teacher and felt that it would help me to write my name by the time I went to school if it was composed of the three very different letter shapes S-I-D. And for those more interested in the article, its original English title was ‘Bibliometrics, Popular Reading, and the Literary Field of an Enlightenment Publisher’. I suspect that sounds better in Russian!

Research Associate positions with FBTEE

We are pleased to announce that two Research Associate positions in Digital Humanities are currently available with FBTEE’s new Australian Research Council-funded Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment project at Western Sydney University.

The successful applicants will work on either:

(1) a sub-project lasting 24 months entitled: ‘The Illegal Book Trade Revisited’. The role will involve in interpreting, recording and analysing a wide range of statistical materials on the illegal book trade; editing and standardisation of digital research data; and taxonomic classification of books (Position Ref 2228/15).

(2) a sub-project lasting 18 months entitled: ‘Mapping the French Novel: An Experiment in Academic Crowd-Sourcing’. The role will include designing and leading a six-month experiment in crowd-sourcing; identification and digital curation of key sources; editing and standardisation of digital research data; taxonomic classification of books; and data entry and data analysis. (Position Ref 2227/15)

The successful applicants will also participate in the project’s programme of workshops, symposia and international conferences, both in speaking and organisational roles. They will also contribute to the publication of digital and traditional research outputs. These will include both individual and team outputs.

There is a possibility of a relocation package as per the university’s relocation policy.

Full advertisements and further particulars are available at the University’s recruitment page at http://www.westernsydney.edu.au/employment/home/current_vacancies

The positions have been advertised on various academic listservs and recruitment sites. Applications close on 30 January 2016.

NB. Anyone wishing to apply for both posts needs to complete a separate application for each position.

 

FBTEE greets the Prime Minister

FBTEE and Western Sydney featured prominently in a major exhibition on the Digital Humanities put on at the CHASS (Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) 2015 National Forum in Melbourne this month, and opened by no lesser person than the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull.

Of the 24 projects from around Australia featuring on exhibition boards, no less than nine featured projects from Western Sydney University, confirming the status of Western Sydney’s Digital Humanities Research Group status as a premier national DH research cluster.

For more on our activities and feature projects, consult the DHRG website.

 

FBTEE 2.0 – ARC award

We are pleased to announce that the FBTEE project has received a major award in the Australian Research Council’s 2016 Discovery Project round, the results of which were announced today. We are grateful to the ARC and Western Sydney University for their support of this project.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be overhauling our website to reveal all that we have been doing with the project over the last three years at Western Sydney, as well as details of the new datasets we hope to publish over the next two to three years.

When we published FBTEE-1.0 in 2012, the FBTEE database contained data on around 450,000 copies of 3,600 works. The work conducted over the last three years has added data on around 3,500,000 copies of several thousand more, and by the end of 2017 we hope to have added data on at least 1,500,000 more.

So watch this space as we search for the forgotten bestsellers of pre-revolutionary France