Research

Research projects

 


 

Citizen Mindscapes – Detecting Social, Emotional and National Dynamics in Social Media

Mindscapes24 builds a research frontier for social media analysis by focusing on Suomi24–Finland’s largest topic-centric social media, and one of the world's largest non-English online discussion fora. We bring together researchers from social sciences, digital culture, welfare sociology, language technology, and statistical data analysis, developing new ways of exploring social and political interaction.

We tackle Suomi24 from three perspectives:

(1) the digital culture that produces social media

(2) novel visual tools and analysis methods for studying the digital content, and

(3) a small number of spearhead research questions, such as characterizing the types of micro interaction, how heated debates might turn into political movements and how to detect emotional waves.

In addition to an open data set made available through the Language Bank, the results will include a book on digital culture, visual tools for social scientists, and an international conference.

 

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Profiling Premodern Authors 

The Consortium Profiling Premodern Authors (PROPREAU) applies and develops new flexible machine learning-based tools for the analysis and classification of texts in order to explore several fundamental and unresolved questions of authorship in classical and medieval Latin texts. Despite the cultural importance of Latin, many essential texts remain anonymous. This is largely so because of the highly conservative nature of Latin based culture, characterized by imitation of earlier authors and quoting excerpts of their texts. Therefore, authorship attribution requires an analysis and comparison of large quantities of text. PROPREAU incorporates machine learning-based tools developed at the Turku NLP Group (IT Department) into the conventional argumentation of the humanities, allowing a much wider look at textual material than is attainable by single scholars using conventional methods.
 
The expected results of the Consortium are new, well-grounded answers to questions of authorship that were previously considered unsolvable. PROPREAU will provide guidelines and new computational methods for future endeavors to identify anonymous premodern texts. The subproject at the Department of Cultural History addresses several significant aspects of the Latin literary culture: the identification of the authors of Latin grammatical texts and their relations, the recognition of documents written in the Papal chancery, and the identification of late-medieval polemical treatises. The subproject of the IT Department will create novel approaches that address the specific challenges of the domain through task-oriented feature selection and training, and the proposed approaches will further be implemented as software released under open licenses.

 

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Computational History and the Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640–1910 

The consortium Computational History and the Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640–1910 is based on the shared expertise of The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Helsinki, the Departments of Cultural History and Information Technology at the University of Turku, and the Centre for Preservation and Digitisation of the National Library of Finland. Its objective is to reassess the scope, nature and transnational connections of public discourse in Finland, 1640–1910.

Two complementary approaches will be utilized, one based on the use of library catalogue metadata and the other based on the full text-mining of all the digitized Finnish newspapers and journals until 1910. The consortium will analyze how the language barriers, elite culture and popular debate, text reuse as well as different publication channels interacted. As a key methodological innovation, the consortium introduces the concept of open data analytical ecosystems.

 

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Social media from Nordic to global contexts: Digital data, methods and analyses

A series of three workshops, funded by the joint committee for Nordic Research Council in the humanities and social sciences (NOS-HS) will focus on the Nordic contribution of social media within global context.

There are two major reasons for exploring the domain of social media from a Nordic perspective: there is a tradition of early adoption of technology in Nordic countries and the overall Nordic web presence. Uniting the workshop researchers is the common goal of a more complete understanding of digital communication, which crucially involves an analysis of Nordic practices. It will focus on current situations, including present-day instantiations of Nordic web activity, problematics associated with contemporary web research and both theoretical and methodological developments in analysing digital communication. 

In the workshops, we are interested in how genres of social media are constituted and how variation in language use takes place in this digital communication. This involves an adoption of a multilingual perspective to Nordic languages (Finnish, Swedish, Finnish Swedish, and Danish) and English. In addition, we will use digital tools within the methodological work, with a special focus on qualitative research theories. Digital data and the ethical and legal questions will also be examined.

The workshops will take place in Turku (2.–3.6.2016), Stockholm (17.–18.11.2016), and Odense (April 8‒9, 2017, to be confirmed later)
 
Project leaders
 
Marjut Johansson, Professor of French, School of Languages and Translation Studies, University of Turku, Finland
 
Kristy Beers Fägersten, Associate Professor of English Linguistics, Södertörn University, Sweden
 
Marianne Rathje, Assistant Professor, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
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Conversation workshop in autumn 2013
 

 Research interests and objectives

 

The Digin network promotes multidisciplinary research of different digital phenomena: linguistic, cultural and social.

Types of activities:
  • Workshops, seminars, courses
  • Research
Right now:
  • New digital research methodologies
  • Collection and management of digital data: texts, videos and images
  • Online research and ethics
 Approaches:
  • Digital culture
  • Language technology
  • Digital Humanities
 

The research’s societal relevance and its applicability to working life is also important to Digin network.

 

 Links

 

20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

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