Announcements Faculty & Staff Research

Hannah Frydman wins the Larry Schehr Memorial Award

Crossposted from French & Italian Studies.

At the end of last quarter, Assistant Professor of French Hannah Frydman won the Larry Schehr Memorial Award for the best essay at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium by an untenured PhD within the first six years since receiving the degree for her essay, “Confidences épistolaires de la Vénus publique’: Le Figaro’s Petite Correspondance and the Business and Pleasure of Sharing Private Messages in Public.” Professor Frydman also presented her paper as part of a panel on “Women Readers” at the 47th Annual Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium in New York City in November of 2022.

Frydman says the essay came “out of my interest in the history of inexpensive newspaper advertising and the way it allowed ordinary people to communicate privately in public to a variety of different ends.” In working to finish revising her book manuscript, Between the Sheets: Classified Advertising, Sexuality, and the Moral Threat to Press Freedom in France, she realized that there were some things in the pre-history of the story she was telling that she didn’t know.

Research led her to a personal ad column created in 1875 in the daily newspaper Le Figaro called the petite correspondance that was critiqued for facilitating adultery and sexual commerce because it allowed people to correspond anonymously via newspaper (for a fee), rather than having to write directly to someone they should not, but it was also incredibly popular with readers who enjoyed reading strangers’ (supposedly real) private missives. Frydman notes it’s “interesting to try to think about as a precursor to social media and its “own monetization of our making the intimate very public.”

 In her essay, Frydman traces the brief but consequential life of the petites correspondances in order to argue for “its importance in the intertwined history of press and sexuality.”  Frydman shows how they introduced a “form of exhibitionism and voyeurism into the press in the very years that witnessed the buildup of fears about the spread of pornography and the conception of new laws freeing the press.” In this climate she writes “moral critiques led to the closure of the column after a few years, but its monetization of a voyeuristic experience of reading the “real” sexual intrigues of anonymous others was to have a long afterlife.”

 The research for this essay and for her work more broadly is threaded throughout two courses she will be teaching this year, FRENCH 223: Sex, Commerce and the Making of Modern Paris, which explores how sex and commerce together shaped ideas about Paris and the city’s topography, and FRENCH 447: Queer Histories and Fictions, on histories and fictions of non-normative sexuality, which also explores the “business and pleasure” of reading potentially real fictions. For Textual Studies, she will also be teaching core course TXTDS 403: Archives, Data and Databases: Thinking with Archives (offered jointly with FRENCH 435) in Autumn 2023.

Announcements Faculty & Staff

TXTDS-Affiliated Faculty Receive Course Development Funding

First published Friday, December 16, 2022. Edited Tuesday, December 20 to reflect change to ITAL 262 offer quarter.

The UW Translation Studies Hub has made their 2022-2023 academic year goal to increase translation literacy across the course offerings at the university, making translation literacy a priority in the undergraduate curriculum. Two French & Italian Studies and Textual Studies Program faculty were granted $250 in research funding via the Simpson Center to develop translation-focused modules for existing courses.

For the course “Sex, Commerce, and the Making of Modern Paris” (FRENCH 223), taught next in Winter 2023, French Professor Hannah Frydman will create a new course module which introduces students to analyzing primary sources (in English translation) and integrating them into historical writing. The new module will ask students to think critically about what sources have been translated for their use, what kinds of sources have been left untranslated, why this might be, and how this impacts what those who do not read French are able to know about the past. Students in the course will also consider how machine translation might offer access to sources that human translators have not yet chosen to translate for the classroom.

Italian Professor and French & Italian Studies Chair Beatrice Arduini will create a new course module for her course “Dante’s Divine Comedy” (ITAL 262), to be offered next in Autumn 2023. The module discusses if and how translations aim to establish a conclusive authority for a medieval poem with a complex textual history such as Dante’s Comedy. The very title “Divine Comedy” appeared for the first time in a 1555 printed edition, and the modern standard critical edition on which all modern English translations are based was adopted in Italy only in the 1960s. This course module will pose the question: What do we translate when we translate Dante, and what do the translations reflect?

Prof. Arduini’s Dante course is eligible as an elective course for our undergraduate Minor in Textual Studies and Digital Humanities. She will also teach core course TXTDS 401 / TXTDS 501: Text Technologies: Reading and Writing in the Middle Ages (offered jointly with HONORS 211 and FRENCH 474) in Winter 2023.

Prof. Frydman will teach core course TXTDS 403: Archives, Data and Databases: Thinking with Archives (offered jointly with FRENCH 435) in Autumn 2023.

Announcements Research

Upcoming Event in Geospatial Humanities

Join the Textual Studies Program at two events related to geospatial humanities here on the Seattle campus:

Maps as Text and Text as Maps
2:30-4:30 pm, Wednesday, November 2, 2022
University of Washington (Seattle campus), Communications Building CMU 202

Talk by Katie McDonough (Alan Turing Institute) followed by a tutorial with Ludovic Moncla (National Institute of Applied Sciences & LIRIS Laboratory).

Talk: Maps as Humanities Data
Katie McDonough, The Alan Turing Institute, London UK

We’ve had several years to consider what it means to have computational access to 1 million books. But what about maps? With so many images being scanned around the world, researchers can imagine using very large collections of digitized maps as primary sources. How can computational methods and the data they create transform the ways we search for and interpret information from the past? What does it mean to turn images into structured text data? In this talk, I explore how creating humanistic data from maps allows us to pursue creative spatial analysis.

Image showing map and geospatial data from historic French texts

Katie McDonough is a Senior Research Associate on the Living with Machines project at The Alan Turing Institute in London, UK, and, from January 2023, a Lecturer in Digital Humanities in the Department of History at the University of Lancaster. She completed her PhD in History at Stanford University and has held teaching and research positions in the US, Australia, and UK. Katie is a specialist of eighteenth-century France and works broadly on computational spatial approaches to early modern and modern history, including the GEODE project. Most recently, she has been PI of Machines Reading Maps, a transatlantic, interdisciplinary project developing methods to make text on maps useful data for humanities research.

Tutorial: Creating Geospatial Data from Historical Texts in French
Ludovic Moncla, National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) & LIRIS Laboratory (UMR 5205 CNRS), Lyon, France

In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to use a custom version of the Perdido geoparser python library. Using texts in French from Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie as a case study for querying a corpus and wrangling geoparsed data, you will be able to compare Perdido’s Named Entity Recognition (NER) output to the results of other well-known NER libraries. In addition to the core elements below, we’ll discuss why text and spatial analysis can be difficult, but ultimately very rewarding with historical, non-English languages.

In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to:

  • Load data from TEI-XML files into a Python dataframe;
  • Use a dataframe for simple data analysis;
  • Test the Perdido Python library for geoparsing (geotagging + geocoding);
  • Display geotagging results;
  • And explore geocoding results on a map.
Page from Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopedie

Ludovic Moncla is an Associate Professor at INSA Lyon since 2018 and is a member of the Data Mining & Machine Learning team at LIRIS Laboratory (UMR 5205 CNRS). He obtained a PhD in Computer Science in 2015 from University of Pau (France) and University of Zaragoza (Spain). His research interests include pluri-disciplinary aspects of Natural Language Processing, information retrieval, data mining, digital humanities and geographical information science. He is currently scientific manager on the interdisciplinary GEODE project (funded by LabEx CNRS ALSAN, 2020-2024) on the development of methods for diachronic study of geographical discourse within French encyclopedias.

Both speakers will be in Seattle for the ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems and the 6th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Geospatial Humanities.

Announcements Faculty & Staff Research

Professor Hannah Frydman Wins Malcolm Bowie Prize

Congratulations to Professor of French Hannah Frydman for her receipt of the Malcolm Bowie Prize from the Society for French Studies!

The Bowie Prize goes to the best article published in the preceding year by an early-career researcher in French Studies. Frydman’s article, “Freedom’s Sex Problem: Classified Advertising, Law, and the Politics of Reading in Third Republic France,” was selected by a panel which included Diana Holmes (University of Leeds, Panel Chair, and Society of French Studies Vice-President), Shirley Jordan (Newcastle University), Judith Miller (NYU), Michael Syrotinski (University of Glasgow, Society of French Studies President), and Downing Thomas (University of Iowa).

The panel describes her article:

Through the lens of newly developed classified advertising, this essay analyses the Third Republic’s effort to police reproduction and sexuality at the expense of the regime’s formal commitment to democratic freedom and expression. The judges found it to be a very fine piece of historical writing, meticulously researched and argued, providing a fascinating window into morality laws of the period and the ways in which they attempted to manage language, alongside an exploration of the complexities this situation brought to the commercial landscape of periodicals. It offers an original and illuminating perspective on sexuality and gender relations in the early decades of the Third Republic.

The article, published in French Historical Studies, is free to access through August 2022 from the Duke University Press.

Announcements Courses

Planned Courses for 2022/2023

The Textual Studies Program and partner departments project the following courses to be offered during the 2022/2023 academic year. Please note that these offerings are subject to change.

Autumn 2022

Digital Editing and Text Processing for Publication / Texts, Publics, and Publication — TXTDS 414 / FRENCH 420 / TXTDS 504 (VLPA, I&S, SLN: 22912; TXTDS core course)

Data Science and the Humanities — TXTDS 267 / ENGL 267 (VLPA, SLN: 23137; TXTDS minor elective)

Winter 2023

Texts, Data, and Computation — TXTDS 413 / ENGL 413 (VLPA, QSR; minor core course)

Text Technologies: Medieval Manuscript Cultures — TXTDS 401 / HONORS 211 / TXTDS 501 (VLPA, QSR; TXTDS core course)

Text Technologies: History of the Book in South Asia — TXTDS 501 / ASIAN 541 (TXTDS graduate certificate core course)

Art History and Criticism: Haiti and Print Culture in the Age of Revolution — ART H 400 (VLPA; TXTDS minor elective)

Love and Empire: Cultural History of the Ottoman Empire through Literature — NEAR E 371 (VLPA, I&S; TXTDS minor elective)

Spring 2023

Texts, Data, and Computation: Introduction to Cultural Analytics — TXTDS 413 / INFO 498 (VLPA, QSR; TXTDS core course)

Archives, Data, and Databases: 20th Century Book History and Digital Humanities — TXTDS 503 / ENGL 504 (TXTDS graduate certificate core course)


CIFNAL Speaker Series on Digital Humanities in French & Francophone Studies

The Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections (CIFNAL) is a global collaboration under the umbrella of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). The University of Washington Libraries is a member of CRL and CIFNAL and shared this virtual series with us, which will be relevant to both our French & Francophone Studies and Textual Studies folks! Events begin this week and continue all the way through June 2022.

More information available on the CRL website.

Clovis Gladstone: Computational Approaches to Textual Scholarship: the ARTFL Project’s French Digital Collections
February 4, 12-1pm EST
Registration Link:

M. Stephanie Chancy: Preserving Cultural and Historical Patrimony: dLOC Partnerships and Collaborations in Haiti
February 25, 2-3pm EST
Registration Link:

Darlene Hull (Libros de Barlovento): Plein de Défis : a Book Vendor’s Experience Acquiring Library Materials from Haiti
March 4, 2-3pm EST
Registration Link:

Jérémie Roche (CAIRN), Julie Therizols (OpenEdition), and Emilie Chouinard (Erudit): The Future of Electronic Publishing in France and Francophone Canada
March 28, 12-1pm EST
Registration Link:

Nathan H. Dize: Translating Haiti in the Archives of Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
April 15, 12-1pm EST
Registration Link:

Quinn Dombrowski: Corpus Hebdo: Building Infrastructure for Multilingual Digital Humanities
May 20, 12-1pm EST
Registration Link:

Charlotte Denoël: French medieval manuscripts at the BnF: current research programs and future perspectives
June 10, 12-1pm EST
Registration Link:

Faculty & Staff Research

Geoffrey Turnovsky & Anna Preus on Digital Humanities, Data Science, and TEI

Assistant Professor Anna Preus (Department of English, Humanities Data Science) and Associate Professor Geoffrey Turnovsky (Department of French & Italian Studies, Textual Studies Program) are the latest guests on the English department’s “Literature, Language, Culture” series, where they discuss the value of Digital Humanities with host C. R. Grimmer (Department of English, Simpson Center for the Humanities). Their conversation includes how instructors and students make use of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) in their classrooms, their learning, and in the practice of archiving. In this episode you can expect to develop a working understanding of TEI and how it shapes classroom practices and can be a form of hope when considered in and outside of classroom settings. This conversation is available as a video on YouTube and as a podcast.

Anna Preus is a new member of the University of Washington community and joined the English department this academic year as both an Assistant Professor of English and interdisciplinary Humanities Data Science. Geoffrey Turnovsky is French & Italian Studies’ chair, Associate Professor of French, and co-lead of the Textual Studies Program.

This video/podcast is both part of public scholarship dialogue series “Literature, Language, Culture” from the University of Washington (Seattle Campus) Department of English, as well as the Annual Lee Scheingold Lecture in Poetry & Poetics.

Announcements Faculty & Staff Research

New Publication by Professor Hannah Frydman

New Assistant Professor of French Studies Hannah Frydman has published the article, “Freedom’s Sex Problem: Classified Advertising, Law, and the Politics of Reading in Third Republic France,” in French Historical Studies (volume 44, number 4).

The article traces the history of legal responses to so-called immorality (e.g. abortion, sex work, non-normative sex) in the classified pages of the Parisian press. In particular, she shows how decades of judicial uncertainty about whether obscenity law permitted the symptomatic reading of coded ads — or if only surface reading was allowed — protected the freedom of the press, a freedom endangered by attempts to make mass media inhospitable to sexual advertising.

The article is available on the Duke University Press site.