Celebration of Scholarship, Creativity & Achievement

  • Matthew Furgele

Matthew Furgele

Historiography of the Crusades in Timelines: Big Data, Textual Analysis, and Data Visualization

Project Description

Although timelines are often assumed to be simple representations of “what happened,” in fact, timelines in historical books demonstrate the range of arguments historians can have about the past, as well as historians’ differing interpretations and even conceptualizations of events, dates, forms of time, and relevant information. Timelines on the crusades particularly highlight such inconsistencies since the chronological boundaries of crusading are fluid, as well as the idea of what a crusade “is” is still hotly debated, yet no one has studied crusading timelines. This digital humanities project focuses on analyzing the structure and language of events in timelines of the crusades across separated decades. By creating and analyzing a coded dataset of crusading timelines in Excel, based on scholarly books and eBooks that have been published in English from 1991-2000 or 2011-2020 and are available at Myrin Library, this project quantitatively and qualitatively assesses the representation of the past in timeline.