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AsymEnc – Asymmetrical Encounters: E-Humanity Approaches to Reference Cultures in Europe, 1815-1992


AsymEnc is an interdisciplinary research project which brings together historians, digital humanists and computational linguists from the University Utrecht (Joris van Eijnatten), University College London (Ulrich Tiedau) and Trier/Göttingen University (Caroline Sporleder). It is funded for a three-year period (2013-2016) by a one million euro grant from HERA – Humanities in the European Research Area. The project explores the cultural aspects of European identity, focusing on how reference cultures changed between 1815-1992. Using innovative digital techniques researchers mine and analyse large collections of digitised newspapers and magazines. The Library of the Netherlands in the Hague, the British Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg and other European libraries have made large repositories of digitised newspapers and periodicals available. Techniques from natural language processing such as text mining and sentiment mining now open the perspective of a quantitative approach to the history of mentalities. This allows the researchers to discover long-term developments and breakpoints in public debates, but also to map the vectors of cross-cultural influences.

For further information, please visit the project website: