HSSH May Newsletter

Events and news in May.



19.5. Workshop on Weights in ESS Data

The Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) organises a workshop on the use of weights in the European Social Survey (ESS) in Zoom on Thursday 19 May 2022 at 14.15-15.45

If you are using or would like to use the European Social Survey and have questions related to how weights should be applied in the analyses, join us to discuss this with other researchers and with Teemu Kemppainen, a Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and an expert on ESS data.

Teemu will be presenting some example code in Stata, but questions related to other packages (SAS, R, SPSS) can also be discussed. The ESS data can be downloaded from https://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/data/round-index.html. The session will be held in English.

Please register for the workshop by email to hssh-mu@helsinki.fi by Friday 13 May 2022. You can also send any questions beforehand with your registration.


24.5. Workshop: Time Series and Computational Literary Studies

Concepts such as Distant Reading (Moretti, 2000) and Big Translation History (Roig-Sanz & Fólica, 2021; Vimr 2020) in connection with the availability of large datasets on literature provide new opportunities to explore international cultural exchange in terms of global literary flows from a large-scale and historical perspective. We can revisit questions concerning global patterns of cultural exchange, their dynamics, the relationship between the singular and the global and many more.

One of the patterns that deserves closer investigation is similarities or dissimilarities of the representation of individual authors in diverse countries and languages. Do literary works flow internationally in an organised manner? Can we explore and visualise the (dis)similarities of how literature is disseminated throughout the world at least at the level of authors? Such a research requires time series analysis to take into account the historical perspective. In fact, an authorship is a sequence of publications in time; with translations however, the number of time series associated with each author increases with each target language.

This workshop will kick off with a presentation of a project that takes as an example the book translations of Czech literature (1850-2020) into all languages (n=106) as sourced from WorldCat.org world-wide library/bibliographic database and will invite the participants to suggest solutions to time series analysis.

The workshop will be held on 24.5.2022 at 13.15 as a hybrid event, on Zoom and in person at the HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor.

The workshop is open for everyone.

Sign up for the workshop by filling this form.

Workshop presentations:

  • Ondřej Vimr: Translating Czech literature (1850-2020)
  • Yann Ryan & Mikko Tolonen: Evolution of Publishing Networks in the Scottish Enlightenment 

Discussants include Thea Lindquist, Sointu Leikas, Vojtěch Malínek and Jouni Tuominen.

Sketch Engine corpus tool license at the University of Helsinki continues until 31.3.2023

The Faculty of Arts has obtained an institutional license for the Sketch Engine corpus tool for 2022. The corpus tool can be used by researchers, teachers and students of the University of Helsinki until 31.3.2023. Further continuation of the license is under inquiry.

Sketch Engine is suitable for searching large text corpora and analyzing text in all fields of teaching and science. Digital humanities is mentioned by the developers as a field which can most benefit from the use of the corpus tool.

Sketch Engine is the most versatile out of available corpus tools and it is used worldwide in linguistics and termilogy research. The platform offers versatile and easy-to-use search features for textual data and tools for compiling your own corpora, even large ones. Searches can be targeted to openly available, existing corpora (500 corpora, over 90 million languages), corpora shared with other users and the user’s own corpora compiled with the tool for example from the internet and saved to their personal space.

The Sketch Engine corpus tool can be accessed at www.sketchengine.eu. When logging in choose “Instutional login”. From the dropdown menu choose University of Helsinki and login with your university credentials.

More information on using the Sketch Engine corpus tool: Päivi Pasanen (paivi.pasanen@helsinki.fi).

Visiting PhD researcher Craig Ryder at HSSH for a six-month placement

Craig Ryder is a digital ethnographer interested in startup and digital cultures, the platformisation of information and emerging approaches to data collection via digital methods. His regional area of expertise is Sri Lanka where he has worked as a journalist (2017-2018).

Craig has come to Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) to learn from and collaborate with university researcher, Dr. Matti Pohjonen. Together, they will be using innovative computation processes to collect data from the back end of Twitter on discourses in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. They will use data visualisation software to identify clusters of local influencers and conversations on hot topics such as: fake news, hate speech, freedom of speech and content moderation.

Their objective is to write two journal articles on their findings. The first article is a comparative analysis of the Content Moderation debate in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, which they intend to publish in the International journal of Communication. The second article is yet to be determined and is dependent on findings in the data set.

Previously, Matti was Craig’s MA supervisor (2019-20) as he convened the Global Digital Cultures MA course at the School of Oriental and Africa Studies, University of London (SOAS).

Ryder’s PhD research at SOAS is a four-year ethnographic study investigating social media influence in Sri Lanka. Specifically, Craig is interrogating the influence of platform affordances on the dissemination of information and how information influencers reappropriate these affordances into their everyday practices. Craig’s six months placement at HSSH is fully funded by Consortium for Arts and Humanities, South East England (CHASE.ac.uk).

HSSH will collaborate in the Big Data in the Global South Workshop organised by University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa

The Big Data in the Global South workshop is held on 24.-27.5. at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. This four-day residential workshop focuses on training post-graduate students, early career researchers and other academics on how to identify, access and analyze large quantity of data from social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) and to encourage critical understanding of the complexities and contradictions of information societies in the Global South involved in such analysis.

The workshop brings together scholars in South Africa who have championed debates on de-colonization in the humanities with key researchers in Africa, and globally, who have mastered the use of computational techniques commonly used in Big Data analysis.

Matti Pohjonen from HSSH's Methodological Unit will join the workshop as one of the co-organisers of the workshop.

The workshop continues a collaboration which includes a recent article in Social Media + Society: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20563051211044233

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