MSS Lunch Lecture Sarah Bowen Savant, 'Finding Meaning in 1.5 Billion Words of Arabic: The KITAB Project and Its Aims'

When
16-12-2019 from 12:00 to 13:00
Where
Ghent, Plateau building, ground floor, 'Simon Stevin' Room
Language
English
Organizer
Stefan Meysman
Contact
Stefan.Meysman@UGent.be
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Second December lunch lecture with Prof. Sarah Bowen Savant (AKU London) in collaboration with the MMS-II ERC project

On Monday 16 December 2019, 12.00-13.00, we have the pleasure of co-organizing the second lunch lecture of the month together with the MMS-II ERC project at Ghent University (PI: Prof. Jo Van Steenbergen).

For this lunch lecture we welcome Prof. Sarah Bowen Savant (AKU London) who will be speaking on 'Finding Meaning in 1.5 Billion Words of Arabic: The KITAB Project and Its Aims'.

The lecture will take place in the Jozef Plateau building, ground floor, 'Simon Stevin' room.

Abstract

In this talk, I discuss collaborative work underway on a 1.5 billion-word corpus of machine-readable corpus texts in Arabic. I describe the workflows, new developments (including on Optical Character Recognition), and current state of the corpus, as well as the different roles played by partners, including Computer Scientists and Historians. Secondly, I briefly describe how, in two research projects – one funded by the European Research Council, another by the Qatar National Library – my team and I are applying text reuse detection methods to this corpus to study book history up close and at a distance. I am interested to probe where our data is meaningful and illuminating, versus where it is not.

KITAB is an ERC Consolidator Grant project funded under Horizon 2020.

Speaker

Prof. Sarah Bowen Savant is Professor at Aga Khan University London, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. She is the Principle Investigator of KITAB. Professor Savant is a cultural historian specialising in the Middle East and Iran ca. 600-1500.